Today, there were two major announcements around AI companies. The first was that Fluent.AI of Montreal closed $1.8M as part of their seed round. Their claim to fame is technology that goes straight from voice to intent (similar to how Amazon Lex markets their product).
The second big piece of news was that Cisco acquired MindMeld for $125M, putting it into the NLU space. MindMeld had changed its model a few years back from a developer tool for NLU and voice-based search (you could give it a webpage and it would index it so you could search it by voice). It replaced this with a closed system doing custom work for large brands.
With Cisco onboard, it’s possible that the company will be able to extend NLU as part of it’s telecommunications / unified communications offerings. It’s not clear yet how this will gel with other parts of Cisco’s offerings. It acquired an IoT company last year, so maybe there’s some play there.
My eyes are still on Houndify on whether someone will try to pick them up as the last “free” NLU.