AI Speech Tech firm Nuance to be sold to Microsoft for $19.7 billion


Microsoft is buying Nuance for $1.9 billion. This AI based voice recognition firm will be a huge asset for the tech giant as it will improve its position in the health care space.


Microsoft is planning to buy the Burlington, Massachusetts based firm’s shares at a premium of $56 per share which is 23% over the share price of Nuance at Friday closing. It will also absorb Nuance’s net debt.


Bloomberg was the first to report the acquisition of Nuance by Microsoft over the weekend. Microsoft has been acquiring useful assets recently. Last month, it bought games company ZenMax for $7.5 billion. It is also said to be in talks to purchase Discord, a communications app.


Nuance’s voice processing software “Dragon” uses deep learning to transcribe speech. It adapts to a user’s voice and keeps improving in accuracy making it a much sought after software. It has been licensed for use to several users including Apple’s digital assistant Siri.


Deep learning using artificial intelligence is rapidly improving speech recognition and transcription ability and the number of applications where it is used has also been increasing. By leveraging this purchase Microsoft has improved its position as it can integrate Nuance’s technology into its transcription services.


The Redmond based Washington firm has collaborated with the Burlington based firm in 2019. They had formed a “strategic partnership” and Microsoft’s clients used Nuance’s software to digitize their health records.


The Dragon Medical One software developed by Nuance is said to be used by 77 percent of the hospitals in the U.S… More than half a million physicians reportedly use this software throughout the world.

In a statement, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said that they would release advanced AI solutions for professionals everywhere, as they “accelerate the growth of Microsoft Cloud in Healthcare and Nuance.

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