US networking giant Cisco has acquired Silicon Valley-based artificial intelligence (AI) company MindMeld for $125 million.
MindMeld’s proprietary AI platform helps companies build intelligent and human-like conversational chatbot interfaces for any apps and devices.
“The workplace of the future is one powered by AI,” said Rowan Trollope, senior vice president, Cisco IoT and Applications Group. “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.”
Cisco says it will soon unlock new AI capabilities that will empower its customers to “self-manage their network and data center, stay ahead of security attacks, embed intelligence at the edge, deliver predictive analytics, and revolutionize their workplace.”
To start with, Cisco will integrate some of these cognitive capabilities into its own collaboration products. Together, they will bring voice AI to meeting rooms throughout the world, as Cisco has a strong presence in the telephone hardware market.
San Francisco-based MindMeld has roughly 20 employees, according to its website. All of them will henceforth report to Cisco’s collaboration business unit, which sells workplace chat software and other business productivity tools.
According to a new study from Juniper Research, chatbots will redefine the future of the customer service industry, significantly benefiting the healthcare and banking sectors. More than anything else, chatbots will reduce business operational cost by a whopping $8 billion per year by 2022.