Cisco is to acquire San Francisco-based AI company MindMeld which has developed an AI platform that enables customers to build intelligent and human-like conversational interfaces for any application or device.
Cisco believes that AI and machine learning will play an increasingly vital role across all parts of its business.
Given its pedigree in networking, collaboration, data centre, analytics, and unified communications, Cisco is positioned to take advantage of AI and ML and embed it across the network and the cloud.
"Through its proprietary machine learning (ML) technology, MindMeld delivers accuracy to help users interact with voice and chat assistants in a more natural way," said Rowan Trollope, senior vice president, Cisco IoT and Applications Group.
"Cisco is unlocking capabilities through AI that were unthinkable in the past. For example, empowering our customers to self-manage their network and data centre, stay ahead of security attacks, embed intelligence at the edge, deliver predictive analytics, and revolutionise the workplace."
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 our video portfolio.
"This acquisition will power new conversational interfaces for Cisco's collaboration products, revolutionising how users will interact with our technology, increasing ease of use, and enabling new cognitive capabilities," added Trollope.
"For example, users will be able to interact with Cisco Spark via natural language commands, providing an experience that is highly customised to the user and their work. Together, Cisco and MindMeld can bring voice AI to meeting rooms throughout the world, where Cisco's near-ubiquitous presence of video and telephony hardware will help increase adoption of AI technology across the workplace.
"The workplace of the future is one powered by AI. 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."