Cisco acquires AI company MindMeld

Cisco acquires MindMeld for $125 million, a privately-held artificial intelligence (AI) company based in San Francisco. MindMeld has developed of an AI platform that enables customers to build intelligent and human-like conversational interfaces for any application or device. Through its proprietary machine learning (ML) technology, MindMeld helps users to interact with voice and chat assistants in a more natural way. 

AI and machine learning will play an increasingly vital role across all parts of our business, according to Cisco. The company wants to take advantage of AI and ML and embed it across the network and the cloud. With AI Cisco wants to empower customers for example to self-manage their network and data center, stay ahead of security attacks, embed intelligence at the edge and deliver predictive analytics. AI and ML technology is already represented across Cisco’s portfolio, powering products like Stealthwatch, Cisco Spark Board, and Cisco Spark Room Kit and features like SpeakerTrack and VoiceTrack across Cisco’s video portfolio.

‘Chat and voice will become the interfaces of choice’
As chat and voice quickly become the interfaces of choice, MindMeld's AI technology will enable Cisco to deliver new experiences throughout its portfolio, starting with collaboration. This acquisition will power new conversational interfaces for Cisco's collaboration products, changing the way users interact with technology, increasing ease of use, and enabling new cognitive capabilities. For example, users will be able to interact with Cisco Spark via natural language commands, providing an experience that is customized to both the user and their work. 

With ten patent assets to its name, MindMeld brings AI, software and engineering expertise to Cisco. The MindMeld team will join the Cloud Collaboration group under the leadership of Jens Meggers, senior vice president and general manager, as the Cognitive Collaboration team. The acquisition is expected to close in Cisco's fourth quarter of fiscal year 2017, following customary closing conditions and regulatory review.

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