Microsoft acquires Nuance, a speech transcription app for $19.7 billion, Apple CEO Tim Cook speaks on the importance of protecting privacy, and Nvidia graces us with its new ARM-based central processor.

It’s all the tech news that’s popular right now. Welcome to Hashtag Trending! It’s Tuesday, April 13 and I’m your host Baneet Braich.

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Microsoft buys AI speech tech company Nuance for $19.7 billion from technology

Microsoft went shopping this weekend. The tech giant has acquired speech tech company Nuance for $19.7 billion. Nuance’s software, called Dragon, is an industry leader for transcription accuracy and uses deep learning to transcribe speech. It also improves accuracy by adapting to a user’s voice. Dragon has been used to license tech like Apple’s famous Siri but it’s unclear how much Siri actually relies on Dragon. This acquisition will be Microsoft’s second-largest after it bought LinkedIn in 2016 for $26 billion. Microsoft says Nuance’s technology can be further integrated in Microsoft teams, or offered independently as part of its Azure cloud business.

In an exclusive interview with the Toronto Star, Apple CEO Tim Cook explains why the tech giant is stepping up to protect privacy online. Apple is soon releasing a new privacy feature for iOS operating systems which will require apps to get permission from users before tracking their data across other apps or websites. This has rubbed the advertising industry the wrong way, which heavily relies on collecting personalized information about users for targeted advertising. Cook says it is a tremendous human right and Apple feels a sense of responsibility to help users from a privacy and security point of view. Now app developers submitting new or updated apps will also have to include a page describing the kind of user information they collect and what they do with it. 

Nvidia graced us with a new processor this week. At its keynote speech during the GTC 2021 event on Monday, the chip manufacturer unveiled its ARM-based central processing unit for large-scale AI and high-performance computing applications called Grace. Nvidia says Grace delivers 10 times the performance leap for systems training giant AI models with the help of energy-efficient ARM cores. Venture Beat reports that the Swiss Supercomputing Center and the U.S. Department of Energy’s Los Alamos National Laboratory will be the first to use Grace, which is named for Grace Hopper, who pioneered computer programming in the 1950s. The CPU is expected to be available in early 2023.

 

That’s all the tech news that’s trending right now. Hashtag Trending is a part of the ITWC Podcast network. Add us to your Alexa Flash Briefing or your Google Home daily briefing. Make sure to sign up for our Daily IT Wire Newsletter to get all the news that matters directly in your inbox every day. Also, don’t miss our first episode of Hashtag Tendences, a weekly version of Hashtag Trending that’s in French! Catch the first episode this weekend hosted by Catherine Morin, editor for Direction Informatique, one of IT World Canada’s sister publications based in Quebec. I’m Baneet Braich, thanks for listening!

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