Microsoft in Talks to Buy AI Firm Nuance Communications

Microsoft Corp. is in advanced talks to buy artificial intelligence and speech technology company Nuance Communications Inc., according to people familiar with the matter.

An agreement could be announced as soon as this week, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the information is private. The price being discussed could value Nuance at about $56 a share, though the terms could still change, one of the people said.

That would value the equity of Nuance, which laid the groundwork for the technology used in Apple Inc.’s Siri voice software, at about $16 billion, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The price would be a 23% premium to Friday’s close for Nuance.

Talks are ongoing and the discussions could still fall apart, the people said.