News was released last week that Intel purchased some of the assets of Ginger Software for between $20 and $30 million. The purchase included Ginger’s personal assistant technology.
Seeking Alpha, which reported on the Ginger acquisition from an investor’s point of view, saw the purchase as a positive move. I wrote in an earlier post about Intel’s Jarvis technology, which is built on a specialized mini computer. This powerful chip, which runs Linux and other software tools, supports a full fledged virtual assistant without relying on the cloud. It makes it feasible for Intel to load the Ginger personal assistant directly onto a wearable device, such as the Jarvis smart headset.
Last year, Intel acquired Indisys, which was called the “intelligent dialog” company. I couldn’t find further information on how Intel utilized the Indisys technology. In the case of the Ginger purchase, Intel has added at least two engineers to its team. Yael Karov, CEO and Chief Scientist of the personal assistant division of Ginger and Micha Breakstone, an expert in NLP, are reportedly both moving over to Intel as part of the acquisition.
I found a lengthy interview with Yael Karov from last February, which includes some impressive demos of the Ginger virtual assistant technology.
As others have noted, competition in the hot virtual assistant space is picking up. It makes life interesting for those of us keeping a close eye on the virtual agent / personal assistant market.