Why Microsoft’s new AI acquisition is a big deal


Ben Dickson

Microsoft’s recent shopping spree reached a new climax this week with the announcement of the $19.7-billion acquisition of Nuance, a company that provides speech recognition and conversational AI services. Nuance is best known for its deep learning voice transcription service, which is very popular in the healthcare sector.

The two companies had already been working closely before the acquisition. Nuance had built several of its products on top of Microsoft’s Azure cloud. And Microsoft had been using Nuance’s Dragon service in its Cloud for Healthcare solution, launched last year in the midst of the pandemic.

The acquisition is Microsoft’s biggest since the $26-billion purchase of LinkedIn. And it tells a lot about Microsoft’s AI strategy.

AI in healthcare
Most of the focus in the announcement was on AI in healthcare, which...

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