Comcast, VCs Pour $56M Into Virtual-Assistant Firm Interactions

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speech recognition and natural language processing platform developed by AT&T’s in-house research and development lab. As part of the deal, an undisclosed number of AT&T Watson researchers and engineers joined Interactions, and AT&T received an undisclosed equity stake in Interactions.

That was a big get for Interactions, Iacobucci says. AT&T Watson’s technology is based on several decades of research, he says, and he called its team one of the “elite” in the industry.

Now, armed with a restocked war chest, Interactions plans to continue developing its technology, hiring more people, and signing up more customers. That includes a bigger push into international markets. Some of Interactions’ customers operate globally, but the company doesn’t currently serve any firms headquartered outside the U.S., Iacobucci says.

It remains to be seen whether, and when, virtual assistants will go mainstream. “In our world of customer care, the existing technologies and approaches have reached a point of diminishing return,” he says. “At the same time, there’s a tremendous concern and interest in changing and improving the customer experience. … We really push that agenda.”

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Jeff Engel is Deputy Editor, Tech at Xconomy. Email: jengel@xconomy.com Follow @JeffEngelXcon

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