Bill Gates’ Microsoft has reportedly entered discussions to acquire AI speech recognition specialist company, Nuance Communications for an estimated US$16 billion.
Nuance Communications is the same company that provided technology for Apple’s Siri assistant.
Reuters reported that, if the deal goes through at the estimated value, it would be the second largest buy by Microsoft, after its acquisition of LinkedIn for US26.2 billion in 2016.
Nuance Communications provided speech recognition technology used in Apple’s Siri assistant and has announced deals with Rakuten Mobile and Telefonica to provide AI voice recognition technology for customer service channels.
It also counts Deutsche Telekom, Verizon, Telus and UK fixed operator TalkTalk among its customers.
Nuance Communications provides AI software for use in a range of settings, though it primarily operates in the customer service and healthcare segments.
It claims its solutions are able to cut fraud and improve security using biometric verification, alongside aiding business productivity.