More than a tenth of Nuance Communications Inc.’s 7,100 employees work in its India offices in Pune and Bengaluru, Microsoft Corp. purchased for $19.7 billion on Monday.
These centres provide transcription and editing facilities and Artificial Intelligence application research and development (R & R&D).
Nuance, a company specialising in conversational AI and cloud-based clinical intelligence, employs over 1,600 people worldwide for transcription and editing. India is home to a third of them. It also has a few hundred people working on machine learning algorithms to develop speech-to-text tools in its R&D unit.
The Burlington, Massachusetts-based firm is a leader in voice recognition technology and develops speech-to-text conversion software. Customers in India will benefit from the company’s new transcription engine, available in Hindi and Indian English.
About the purchase
Microsoft Corporation has paid $19.7 billion for Nuance, an AI speech technology firm. Since its founding in 1992, the company has been credited with helping Apple grow its Siri voice assistant through its groundbreaking work in the text-to-speech area.
Microsoft will enter the healthcare industry, which Nuance dominates with an 80% market share in the United States.
With its highly influential Dragon Naturally Speaking text-to-speech software in the late 1990s, Nuance pioneered the area of digital voice synthesis.
The seminal speech recognition specialist has dominated the healthcare industry with its voice-driven medical applications, in addition to co-developing Apple’s Siri voice assistant.
Doctors can easily take voice notes and create medical reports with Nuance’s medical software suite.
It’s worth noting that Microsoft’s AI assistant Cortana has been a complete disappointment on mobile devices, with the company axing the iOS and Android versions. As a result, if it can’t create a successful AI assistant, Microsoft has decided to sell.
While Microsoft’s acquisition of Nuance is being viewed as a move into medical technology, the company’s position in the development of Siri cannot be overlooked.
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