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April 27, 2021
2 min read

Microsoft is Serious about A.I. with Acquisition of Nuance (Dragon)

Microsoft and Nuance (makers of Dragon dictation software) have announced that Microsoft will acquire Nuance for $19.7 billion, Microsoft's second-largest acquisition ever.

Dictation for Healthcare and Governments

Nuance of course is primarily known for its flagship dictation program Dragon NaturallySpeaking.  Microsoft has prioritized healthcare/medical solutions and recently collaborated with Nuance to take advantage of Nuance's sophisticated AI to transcribe and dictate online conversations that medical providers were creating.

There is an increasing amount of recording going on in the healthcare space, but finding use of the recordings is difficult without indexable transcriptions.  Enter Nuance/Dragon which is very intuitive and accurate in its dictations. Microsoft has been collaborating with Nuance for some time to provide this searchable transcription solution, and the project gained momentum last year due to the  increased remote communications caused by the the COVID-19 pandemic.

The same types of communications solutions will figure prominently into the operations of other types of businesses, and governments.  Of course, our team at Northwest Ergonomics and Assistive Technology have been installing Dragon software for many years to help disabled and injured people continue pursuing their professional and creative goals.

The Artificial Intelligence (AI) Wars

Microsoft's AI program Cortana competes with Apple's Siri and Amazon's Alexa but has been much less successful. Nuance has long been the leader in parsing and understanding verbal intent, including providing technology that is the backbone of Apple's Siri's voice recognition capabilities. This acquisition is seen as Microsoft's acknowledgment of the importance of AI and a renewed commitment to developing their AI by acquiring one of the key players in the space.

The Cloud is Key

In its announcement, Microsoft said Nuance’s technology will be used to augment Microsoft’s cloud products for healthcare.  This acquisition comes as Nuance transitions it’s Dragon software product to a cloud-based/subscription model, so internet access (and speed) is going to be paramount for users to succeed with the software.

Contact the Dragon Experts at Northwest Ergonomics

The team at Northwest Ergonomics is here to help with Dragon NaturallySpeaking. Our highly trained assistive technology experts will consult with you to understand your specific needs and provide solutions that really work. We help people of all ages including adults in the workplace who have experienced an injury or other disability.

It is important to our caring specialists that you really get the benefit of these wonderful advancements in technology. For that reason we specialize in training and follow-up to make sure that everything is working as effectively as possible for you.

To contact us, use the form on our contact page, or call 206-707-8830.




Read Full Bio
Doug Lear
15 years as an Assistive Technology Specialist- Providing services to those with disabilities for those with and those why want to operate a computer more efficiently and effectively by voice, vision, or movements.