Cisco to Acquire MindMeld for $125 Million

Cisco yesterday announced plans to acquire MindMeld, a privately held artificial intelligence (AI) company based in San Francisco, for $125 million.

MindMeld's AI platform enables users to build intelligent and human-like conversational interfaces and voice and chat assistants for any application or device. The accuracy of its solutions is enhanced with proprietary machine learning (ML) technology.

The move by Cisco is part of a growing notion that AI and machine learning will play an increasingly vital role across all parts of its business. AI and ML technology is already represented across its portfolio, powering products like Stealthwatch, Cisco Spark Board, and Cisco Spark Room Kit and features like SpeakerTrack and VoiceTrack across its video portfolio.

MindMeld's AI technology will enable Cisco to deliver unique experiences throughout its portfolio, starting with collaboration. This acquisition will power new conversational interfaces for Cisco's collaboration products. Users will be able to interact with Cisco Spark via natural language commands.

Together, Cisco and MindMeld will be able to bring voice AI to meeting rooms, where Cisco's video and telephony hardware will help increase adoption of AI technology.

"The workplace of the future is one powered by AI," said Rowan Trollope, senior vice president of Cisco's IoT and Applications Group, in a statement. "This is a significant step toward making that workplace a reality. Integrating MindMeld into the Cisco Spark platform will transform how users interact in Cisco Spark Spaces, Cisco Spark Meetings, and Cisco Spark Care."

MindMeld holds 10 patents. Its team will join Cisco's Cloud Collaboration group under Jens Meggers, senior vice president and general manager, as the Cognitive Collaboration team.

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