Intel Corporation (INTC - Free Report) recently acquired Ginger Software’s assets and talent related to its natural language processing (“NLP”) technology and applications field, which includes the personal assistant division. The personal assistant platform enables third party companies to build custom-made personal assistants. Reportedly, Intel paid a sum of $30 million for the acqui-hire deal.
However, it did not acquire Ginger Software’s Intelligent Grammar and Spell Checker technologies. Ginger will therefore continue to operate as a separate business, concentrating on these two technologies.
Ginger Software, an Israel-based start-up company, offers advanced language improvement tools, which apply statistical algorithms in combination with NLP, to develop and enhance English language communication and writing skills of users. The company uses features such as Ginger Grammar Checker, Ginger Sentence Rephraser, Ginger Text Reader and Ginger Personal Trainer to present better results and rectifications, which might not be detected by other grammar and spell checkers.
Natural language processing (NLP) is an element of artificial intelligence (AI), which focuses on creating proficient algorithms that enable computers to analyze and understand human or natural language input or human speech.
Intel’s intentions regarding the acquisition aren’t clear. On the one hand, with the personal assistant platform, the chipmaker can enter the virtual assistant market. Intel can offer a free customized personal assistant platform to its OEM associates, which can be an incentive for them to employ Intel’s mobile processors, thus driving its revenues going forward.
On the other hand, NLP will strengthen its AI efforts. Intel can employ the NLP software in its Bluetooth headset, Jarvis, which is the chipmaker’s first wearable device. Jarvis is enabled with local speech identification ability and will be able to offer personal assistant functionality without a continual data connection. Ginger’s NLP can bolster the headset’s existing voice recognition ability.
This will place Intel at an advantage over Apple’s (AAPL - Free Report) Siri, Google’s (GOOGL - Free Report) Google Now and Microsoft’s (MSFT - Free Report) Cortana. Siri and Google Now both require an Internet connection, while Cortana can reply to basic instructions without a data connection.
Intel has been focusing on the wearables markets and has made several other acquisitions in the wearbles space. These acquisitions include Basis Science, gesture control expert Omek Interactive, and NLP firm Indysis.
Intel carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).