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Intel buys Israeli Ginger Software assets for $30 million

Ginger Software has confirmed to “Techcrunch” that Intel has bought its customized personal assistants platform.
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“TechCrunch” reports that Intel Corporation (Nasdaq: INTC) has bought the customized personal assistants platform from Ginger Software Ltd. for up to $30 million. Ginger Software will continue to operate as an independent business focusing on its remaining business: intelligent grammar and spell checking software.

“Intel acquired natural language processing tools and applications assets from Ginger. Along with the aforementioned assets, Intel also hired some Ginger engineers associated with this business, ” a Ginger spokesperson told “TechCrunch”.

“On May 8, Intel acquired natural language processing tools and applications assets from Ginger Software, and it is hiring up to 16 engineers associated with this business, ” an Intel spokesperson further elaborated. “We are not disclosing details about how Intel might use the Ginger Software technologies at this time and we are not disclosing terms of the deal. Please note – We’re acquiring the assets and engineering team associated with Ginger Software’s natural language processing tools and applications. We aren’t acquiring Ginger Software’s Grammar and Spell Checker.”

“TechCrunch” adds that Ginger Software chairman Soffer Teeni has gone to Facebook Israel Ltd., and its founder, CEO and Chief Scientist of the Personal Assistant business Yael Karov is leaving. The deal is her fourth exit.

Explaining the decision to split Ginger Software and sell its personal assistant business to Intel, Karov said, “Ginger had two separate business units, each of them had a different technology, target market, and CEO.” She adds, “The first business – English as a second language was not for sale. It has a commercial consumer product with many mobile and desktop users, and our plan is to use the proceeds from the personal assistant asset sale in order to continue and improve our products, and scale up Ginger. We also plan a big release of a communication product for native English Speakers. The innovative NLP technology for sale was managed and developed by a separate team that I led. We plan to continue and broaden the original business of Ginger and get to hundreds of millions of users. We don’t plan to sell the Ginger business.”

“TechCrunch” says, “The deal is an interesting one for Intel, in that it builds on other investments and acquisitions that the company has made into the area of advanced computing – a nebulous area that includes not only artificial intelligence and how users can interact with computing devices but new frontiers in what forms those computers may even take.”

It adds, “It seems like the value of these kinds of acquisitions is two-fold for Intel: the IP can be used by the company in the development of chipsets for future generations of hardware where functions like these may be standard. But on the other hand, the company can also use the tech in itself as a service to sell to third parties (think here not of phones, but new ‘hardware’ like connected cars, home monitoring systems, and so on); perhaps even to use in products itself.”

Published by Globes [online], Israel business news – www.globes-online.com 

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