It’s no surprise that big tech companies are betting heavily on AI and the potential future it offers them. Microsoft has just made another very big step in this technology field, as it has revealed that it’ll be buying AI speech tech firm Nuance for the not-so-small fee of $19.7 billion.
Nuance may not be a company familiar to many of us, but it is best known for its Dragon software which uses deep learning to transcribe speech and improve its accuracy over time, adapting to a user’s voice better the more often it hears it. Apple incorporates Dragon technology in its Siri digital assistance, while many other companies are also making use of the technology’s transcription features, particularly in the medical field where doctors have been using it to capture consultations and take the appropriate notes, so they don’t have to spend valuable time typing.
By augmenting the Microsoft Cloud for Healthcare with Nuance’s solutions, as well as the benefit of Nuance’s expertise and relationships with EHR systems providers, Microsoft will be better able to empower healthcare providers through the power of ambient clinical intelligence and other Microsoft cloud services
It’s not clear yet how Microsoft will intend to use the software, but after cancelling its own voice assistant Cortana, it makes sense that it could look to integrate this tech into Windows, Office Suite, and even open it up to others through its Azure cloud offering. Based on a statement from Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, it seems the company wants to also continue focusing on the lucrative healthcare market too:
Nuance provides the AI layer at the healthcare point of delivery and is a pioneer in the real-world application of enterprise AI is technology’s most important priority, and healthcare is its most urgent application. Together, with our partner ecosystem, we will put advanced AI solutions into the hands of professionals everywhere to drive better decision-making and create more meaningful connections, as we accelerate the growth of Microsoft Cloud in Healthcare and Nuance.
Microsoft appears to be on quite a buying spree currently, after dropping $7.5 billion on video game company Zenimax, it has also apparently been in talks to acquire Discord. It seems clear that Microsoft is adamant on growing their footprint everywhere. At least until the regulators take notice and put a halt to them flexing their massive wallet around. I would like to remind Microsoft though that I am still available for acquisition I they ever need the services of a clueless geek to bolster their product offering.
Last Updated: April 14, 2021