Microsoft is in talks to buy AI firm Nuance Communications for $16 billion.



The giant tech company is reportedly in advanced talks to acquire the artificial intelligence firm, whose speech recognition software helped develop the Siri virtual assistant for Microsoft’s rivals, Apple.

According to a source that spoke with Bloomberg, negotiations are ongoing and could still fall apart, but added there could be an announcement on the matter as early as Monday (12.04.21).

As of the time of writing, neither Microsoft nor Nuance – whose AI and speech recognition software is used in a range of industries from healthcare to automotive – have confirmed the potential deal or any ongoing talks.

However, the companies previously worked together in 2019 when Microsoft announced a collaboration with Nuance to build tech that allows doctors to record conversations with their patients during visits and automatically relay that information into electronic medical records.

At the time, Nuance CEO Mark Benjamin said: “The Microsoft partnership will accelerate our ability to solve for healthcare’s most pressing challenges – together. The ambient technologies we will jointly deliver can improve productivity and professional satisfaction, while empowering doctors to focus on what they do best: take care of patients.”

The potential acquisition of Nuance comes as Microsoft are also said to be eyeing the gaming-focused chat platform Discord, which they are reportedly in talks to buy for more than $10 billion.

Microsoft also recently scooped up the video game holding company ZeniMax Media.

If the Nuance deal goes through, it would be one of Microsoft’s largest acquisitions to date, second only to its purchase of LinkedIn in 2016 for $26.2 billion.