Announced Microsoft announced the purchase of Nuance for artificial intelligence and speech technology for $ 19.7 billion, which enhances the capabilities of the software giant in voice recognition and gives it additional leverage in the healthcare market, where Nuance sells several products.
Microsoft is paying $ 56 for every Nuance share, which is a 23 percent increase over the company’s closing price last Friday. The deal includes Nuance’s net debt.
Nuance is best known for its Dragon software, which uses deep learning to transcribe speech and improve its accuracy over time by adapting to the user’s voice.
Nuance has licensed the technology for several services and applications, including Apple’s digital assistant Siri.
The $ 19.7 billion acquisition is Microsoft’s second largest after it bought LinkedIn in 2016 for $ 26 billion.
The deal comes at a time when speech technology is improving rapidly, thanks to a deep learning boom in artificial intelligence, and there are more opportunities to use it at the same time.
Digital transcription is becoming more reliable in a range of areas, from medical consulting to board meetings and university lectures.
The rise in remote work has also created new opportunities, and with the many videoconferencing, it has become easier to provide written copies to clients via software built directly into these calls.
The Zoom platform provides automatic copying by integrating with third-party services, such as Otter.
And for Microsoft, which generates nearly two-thirds of its revenue from sales of enterprise software and cloud computing, improving copy services makes perfect sense.
The company can integrate Nuance technology into its existing software, such as Teams, or offer it standalone as part of its Azure cloud business.
The immediate focus is supposed to be on healthcare, as the two companies worked together in 2019 to use the Nuance program to digitize health records for Microsoft customers.
Reports indicate that Nuance’s health technology, including the Dragon Medical One platform, which has been tuned to define medical terminology, is used by more than half a million doctors worldwide and in 77 percent of US hospitals.