Nuance, the Intelligent Speech Technology, Has Been Bought By Microsoft

Software giants Microsoft is going to acquire Nuance in a deal worth $19.7 billion. The firm is known for its AI speech technology. The acquisition will bolster Microsoft’s, headquartered in Redmond, Washington, voice recognition prowess as well as providing more leverage to the firm in health care.

Nuance Acquisition Is The Second Largest

Nuance sells quite a few health care products in addition to its speech tech. Nuance will receive an average share price of $56 from Microsoft. This is a premium of 23% on Nuance’s Friday closing price. The deal also includes the firm’s net debt.

The company is most famous for the Dragon software. It transcribes speech using deep learning. Over time, it also adapts to the user’s voice and uses it to improve its accuracy. Nuance holds the license for this technology for several applications and services. The list includes the famous Siri, the digital assistant from Apple. As such, the firm’s Dragon is the leader in the industry when it comes to the accuracy of transcriptions.

The recent acquisition is the largest for Microsoft since 2106 when the technology giant bought LinkedIn in a deal worth $26 billion. The deal comes in a period that is seeing rapid improvement in speech technology caused by the boom in deep learning among AIs. As such, several new opportunities for its usage are opening up.

Microsoft makes about 67% of its profits from cloud computing and sales in enterprise software. The potential improvement in its services for transcriptions is a logical step. Microsoft could look to integrate the tech into existing software such as Teams or sell it as a standalone under its cloud business offering, Azure.

The present focus is expected to be health care. Nuance and Microsoft have worked together before too. Over five hundred thousand physicians around the globe reportedly use the firm’s Dragon Medical One.