- Transfers Ownership Of AT&T’s Watsonsm Platform In Exchange For Equity Stake In Interactions Corporation
- Delivers Flexible Market Alternative by Creating Advanced Speech, Touch & Text-Enabled Recognition and Understanding Technology
DALLAS, TX and FRANKLIN, MA – November 5, 2014 – In the pursuit of achieving a universally accurate, natural language interface that works seamlessly across devices, applications and systems, Interactions Corporation and AT&T announced today an agreement to transfer ownership of the AT&T Watsonsm technology and research program in order to integrate and further drive development of a new generation of advanced speech and multi-modal services.
As a result of the transaction, developers, businesses and original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) will now have unprecedented opportunities to create what Interactions calls the “Interface of Things™” — a new wave of speech, touch and text interfaces with unprecedented accuracy to interact with any device or service, whether at work, home or on the road. AT&T, in support of this mission, will transfer the AT&T Watson platform and assets in exchange for an undisclosed equity stake in Interactions.
“If the interface is inflexible and doesn’t work, the promise of a conversational, connected tomorrow will never be realized,” said Mike Iacobucci, CEO of Interactions Corporation. “The ‘Interface of Things™’ will ultimately serve as the linchpin for innovation and, more importantly, adoption in a connected, responsive world. This acquisition delivers fundamentally disruptive technology that can enable independent development of elegant, flexible, highly intuitive interfaces across any system or device.”
Added Iacobucci: “The combination of our conversational Adaptive-Understanding™ technology and the Watson platform positions Interactions to become the leading provider of speech and multi-modal interface technologies that simply work.”
The deal stems from a shared vision to bring leading-edge technologies and the broadest set of speech and multi-modal capabilities to market. It will enable a new generation of intelligent devices and personalized services that understand not only what people communicate in a variety of conditions, but the specific meaning behind it.
The acquisition includes the transfer of assets related to AT&T Watson, a globally-renowned platform developed by AT&T Labs Advanced Technologies. In addition to the AT&T Watson technology, certain patents and other intellectual property and number of the talented research team, including world-class speech scientists, researchers and software engineers, will join Interactions.
“The combination of the AT&T Watson platform with Interactions’ advanced capabilities will let enterprises and developers create solutions that simply aren’t possible through other offerings on the market today,” said Chris Rice, vice president, AT&T Labs Advanced Technologies. “We believe this strategic transaction will help make AT&T Watson’s powerful technology available to the broader ecosystem.”
Speech interfaces with limited customization, rigid prompts and unreliable performance have impacted adoption of speech technologies and left consumers weary and frustrated with the systems they currently encounter. The primary goal of entering into this agreement for both Interactions and AT&T is to offer new disruptive technologies in the existing market place with the introduction of new, reliable interface options that capitalize on the advancements of each organization to create an unparalleled user experience.
Interactions will empower developers with the choice to license Watson as a standalone technology or combined with its other market-leading natural language understanding solutions. Developers can choose from cloud-based, on-premise or embedded delivery models. This agreement will create a significant expansion of Interactions’ technology services and solutions. Best known for its award-winning conversational virtual assistant platform, Interactions’ solutions are deployed by FORTUNE™ 500 organizations worldwide.
AT&T Labs Advanced Technologies, previously known as “AT&T Labs Research,” has developed and refined AT&T Watson for several decades. During that time, AT&T Watson primarily served AT&T’s internal automated voice recognition and natural language understanding needs. More recently, AT&T expanded access to AT&T Watson to developers through its speech enabler API. Interactions will open this technology even further for use across multiple industries to provide more options for interacting with smartphones, connected homes and automobiles, entertainment systems and a host of devices. These new interfaces will be fast, accurate, flexible and platform agnostic. In addition, Interactions will continue to leverage and enhance the AT&T Watson platform for its hosted virtual assistant solutions.
To learn more about Interactions or to see how Interactions is already using AT&T Watson to facilitate a conversational, connected tomorrow, visit www.interactions.com.
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Jan Rasmussen, FleishmanHillard for AT&T