According to a report, Microsoft may want to get one of its wellbeing and AI spouses, Nuance Communications, and may be prepared to pay as much as $16 billion for this.
Bloomberg reports that Microsoft is currently in advanced discussions to buy Nuance Communications Inc., an AI company with which it has partnered in the past around health care. Microsoft could pay $16 billion or so for the Burlington, Mass.-based company if the deal comes to fruition, making Nuance Microsoft’s second-largest purchase in history.
Nuance also”laid the groundwork” for the technology powering Apple’s Siri voice applications, Bloomberg noted in its April 11 report on the potential acquisition. The talks between the two companies are”ongoing,” according to the data rather than finalized.
Nuance works with many different partners in a variety of vertical markets. It sells products tailored to the health, omnichannel customer engagement markets, and Dragon speech recognition technology for consumers and business clients.
In 2019, Nuance and Microsoft announced a strategic partnership to deliver ambient clinical intelligence (ACI) technology. Both said they’d work together on blending the Dragon Medical platform with Azure, Azure AI providers and Project Empower MD intelligent-scribe assistance, together with other conversational AI technologies developed by both companies. Last fall, both firms said had incorporated they Nuance’s Dragon Ambient eXperience ACI alternative with Microsoft Teams.
I’ve asked Microsoft to comment on the possibility of a Nuance acquisition but have not heard back yet.