Microsoft buys AI Nuance Communications for $16 billion

Massachusetts-based Nuance Communications is a speech recognition technology company, specializing in providing AI-powered tech that recognizes and transcribes speech, customer engagement, and security contexts. The company's voice recognition tech actually helped launch Apple's virtual assistant Siri back in the day.

Nuance also is a leader in healthcare artificial intelligence. Paired with the Microsoft Cloud for Healthcare, introduced in 2020, Microsoft could make a big push into the health care software business.

"AI is technology's most important priority, and healthcare is its most urgent application," said Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella in a statement. "Together, with our partner ecosystem, we will put advanced AI solutions into the hands of professionals everywhere to drive better decision-making and create more meaningful connections, as we accelerate growth of Microsoft Cloud in Healthcare and Nuance."

Microsoft has certainly been on a roll with the acquisitions recently, having secured Bethesda a few months ago and completed a $7.5 billion acquisition of video game holding company ZeniMax Media just last month.

The deal represents Microsoft's second largest acquisition after LinkedIn. Microsoft also wanted to buy TikTok and Discord.