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Samsung Electronics Acquires Firm with Tech to Convert Text into Speech
Expecting Synergies with Bixby
Samsung Electronics Acquires Firm with Tech to Convert Text into Speech
  • By Cho Jin-young
  • July 12, 2017, 07:00
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Samsung Electronics acquires Innoetics, a Greek start-up with the technology to convert texts into voices.
Samsung Electronics acquires Innoetics, a Greek start-up with the technology to convert texts into voices.

 

As Samsung Electronics acquires Innoetics, a Greek start-up with the technology to convert texts into voices, it is expected that the smartphone giant will generate more synergies with its current AI technology. In particular, it is highly anticipated that Innoetics’s technology will create huge synergies with “Bixby,” an AI assistant suffering from a lack of ability to recognize natural languages.

On July 12, Samsung Electronics put out a statement that the company acquired a 100% stake in the Greek company which has the technology of converting texts into voices. The acquisition was led by the Samsung Global Innovation Center (GIC) in charge of investing in start-ups and mergers and acquisitions (M&As).

Samsung Electronics is planning to upgrade its speech recognition service including Bixby, through the acquisition. Innotics is a text-to-speech specialist established in 2006. The company has developed language and speech processing technologies in cooperation with the Athens Research Center. Innotics's technology has won several prestigious international awards.

This move of Samsung Electronics parallels concerted efforts to focus on voice-based technology by global IT giants including Google, Apple, and Amazon engaging in research on voice technology to expand their AI business.

Samsung Electronics is expected to apply this technology, not only to AI speakers under development but to AI assistant Bixby among others. In particular, the technology is expected to add power to the language function of Bixby which is delaying the release of foreign language versions such as English and Chinese due to a lack of natural language recognition ability.

The development of the Bixby language has been delayed due to a lack of development personnel and data in the fields of English and Chinese, compared with the Korean language service which began in May. In the meantime, the application of TTS technology can give a big boost to language scalability.

It is also expected that Innotics's technology will improve the vision function to offer information by recognizing information such as objects, images, letters, QR codes and bar codes. At present, the vision function recognizes images such as letters in photographs and converts them into letters.