As artificial intelligence begins to touch everything humans do, SoundHound Inc. is prepared to go up against tech giants such as Amazon Inc. (AMZN), Alphabet Corp.'s Google (GOOGL) and others to carve out its own niche.

Big Money

SoundHound, best known for its music recognition app, recently raised $75 million from backers like Nvidia Inc., Samsung Inc. and others to have device makers use tools that are built by SoundHound, rather then building the tools themselves. News of the funding was reported by Bloomberg and others.

The $75 million funding round—which would be SoundHound's fifth according to Crunchbase—would value the company at roughly $800 million according to Pitchbook.

SoundHound is trying to position its technology as being a gateway for device makers to add voice-enabled technology, allowing users to speak to their devices, similar to what Amazon has done with its Echo line of speakers and Google has done with its Google Home smart speaker. (For related reading, see: How Intel Is Betting on Artificial Intelligence.)

AI Is all Around us

SoundHound's platform, known as Houndify, powers the company's voice assistant app, Hound. Available on Apple Inc.'s App Store, Hound is described as letting users get "lightning fast responses" to queries by saying "OK Hound..." and getting responses. It can also give users access to SoundHound curated playlists, news, make phone calls and send text messages, search the Web, among other tasks.

Built off of 10 years of research and development, SoundHound's speech AI allows the technology to work in real-time to identify words and decipher context, which is supposed to provide faster results, SoundHound CEO Keyvan Mohajer told Bloomberg. Other services, like those from Siri and others, figure out words from the audio and then a meaning is deciphered.

Having already partnered with Samsung to integrate its software, SoundHound will also get information and access to companies such as Uber Technologies Inc. and Yelp Inc. as it continues to build out its application programming interface (API). (For more, see also: Artificial Intelligence Hedge Funds Outperforming Humans.)


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