Microsoft Corp plans to buy a tech firm known for helping to develop Apple’s Siri speech recognition software in a deal valued at $19.7bn (£13.3bn).
The purchase of Nuance Communications is the second largest in Microsoft’s history, after its acquisition of networking site LinkedIn in 2016.
Microsoft said it would bolster its software and artificial intelligence expertise for healthcare companies.
So-called “telehealth” and remote doctor visits have boomed in lockdown.
This growth is forecast to continue after the pandemic.
“Nuance provides the AI layer at the healthcare point of delivery,” Microsoft chief executive Satya Nadella said in a statement. “AI is technology’s most important priority, and healthcare is its most urgent application.”
The deal, which includes Nuance debt, is expected to be completed this year.
What is Nuance?
Nuance, based in Massachusetts, was founded in 1992. It employs more than 1,600 people globally and is active in 28 countries.
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