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Thursday, April 15, 2021

Microsoft Going for Nuance

MS has been backing off Cortana, at least for consumer facing applications.  This would be a big major buy of the Siri developer and its patents.  

Microsoft considers acquiring Siri creator Nuance for $16 billion   in AI News  by Ryan Daws

Microsoft is considering acquiring Siri creator Nuance for $16 billion in a deal that’s expected to be announced imminently.

Silicon Valley darling Nuance is one of the world’s most recognisable AI companies for the creation of Siri, the voice assistant that would later go on to become Apple’s first-party solution.

Nuance now focuses its efforts predominantly on enterprise communications, particularly in the healthcare space which has seen increased interest amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Using technology from Nuance, medical staff can reduce their reliance on pen-and-paper and free up more time for improving patient outcomes.

Bloomberg initially reported Microsoft’s interest in Nuance.

Anurag Rana, Senior Analyst at Bloomberg Intelligence, commented in the report: “This can really help Microsoft accelerate the digitisation of the healthcare industry, which has lagged other sectors such as retail and banking.

“The biggest near-term benefit that I can see is in the area of telehealth, where Nuance transcription product is currently being used with Microsoft Teams.”

Nuance’s shares [NUAN] closed yesterday at $45.58 but Microsoft is reportedly prepared to pay $56 per share – over 20 percent higher. Nuance’s shares have increased pre-market to $54.90 per share, seemingly boosted by the rumours.

Microsoft has all but killed off its Cortana voice assistant for consumer-facing purposes, removing it from the App Store and Play Store earlier this month. Redmond now appears to be pivoting its efforts towards developing AI solutions for specific enterprise areas.

In addition to Nuance’s AI expertise, Microsoft would also be gaining access to the company’s over 3,500 patents.   .... ' 

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