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VI: Amazon, Microsoft, Intel, and Others Sign On


Sep. 28 2019, Updated 4:08 p.m. ET

Amazon recently announced a significant partnership on the Voice Interoperability feature or VI. The project will work around the revolutionary machine learning technology and the AI-driven virtual assistants. It is the first time that many companies are joining together under a single ideology.

The goal is to merge all the customers and automate daily activities. Soon, many virtual assistants like Alexa, Cortana, Xbox One, Einstien AI, etc. could work as a team. Using the voice interoperability feature, users can have a personalized interaction with multiple virtual assistants. For more details on the VI product, click here.

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Voice interoperability may confuse Wall Street

The move could end up confusing Wall Street investors about which company to invest in. But, various stocks could see a growth trend simultaneously. Also, investing in all of the shares could have adverse effects. The overall portfolio risk calculation is a toss-up. Supposedly, there are over 30 partners in the initiative. Here is a small list of stocks that every investor should track.

The Voice Interoperability Initiative includes companies from across the globe. Some are listed on NASDAQ and some in foreign stock exchanges. But, others are private and unlisted. Although the partners haven’t released an official statement, Amazon press release talks about most of the partners. Here are some companies that could add to the VI dream.

Amazon Inc (USA)

The US-based internet company Amazon is a global brand. It has a market cap of $874.72 billion as of September 27, 2019. Amazon (AMZN) CEO Jeff Bezos is a visionary and a leader. Plus, he is among the world’s wealthiest people. However, the company stock is seeing a decline in Q3 2019. The company might release Q3 results by the end of October. You can read about Amazon stock trends here. Hopefully, the new VI program could be the solution to Amazon’s present woes.

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VI and Microsoft Corporation (USA)

Microsoft (MSFT), the American technology pioneer will also be part of the VI program. In the past, the CEO of Microsoft Satya Nadella has said that it wants Cortana to integrate with other virtual assistants like Alexa and Google Assistant. Already, Microsoft and Amazon have taken an effort to integrate Alexa and Cortana.

Baidu Inc (China)

Baidu (BIDU), the Chinese Google and another company in the VI program, is listed on NASDAQ and has a market cap of $35.91 billion as of September 27, 2019. Notably, Forbes placed Baidu among the “50 most innovative companies” in China. Baidu announced its Q2 earnings in August 2019. The Q2 earnings saw a 9% sequential increase. Baidu’s diluted EPS as per ADS in Q2 2019 was 6.57.

Also, the company’s AI business is on the rise. CEO and co-founder Robin Li Yanhong said, “Baidu’s AI businesses, DuerOS voice assistant continues to experience strong momentum with installed base surpassing 400 million devices, up 4.5 fold year over year.” Also, he was excited about Baidu’s venture smart homes and automobiles.

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VI and Spotify (Sweden)

Spotify (SPOT), the European media services provider, is gaining fame among Wall Street investors. There are reports that Spotify is working with Apple for streamlining Siri in its platform. Also, Spotify is beta-testing Siri’s voice control in iOS 13. As of September 27, SPOT had a market cap of $21.38 billion. However, Spotify stock has seen a lot of volatility on the YTD level. In 2019, the lowest was $109.02 on January 3. The highest was at $157.6 on August 8. The stock closed at $112.24, -3.40% on September 27, 2019.

Qualcomm (USA)

A partner for the Voice Interoperability Initiative, Qualcomm (QCOM) specializes in the Semiconductor and Telecom Equipment sector. However, QCOM stock saw a bump in value in the mid of April. The share priced rose from $57.17 on April 15 to $79.08 in just two days. And, since then Qualcomm has been between $65 and $75. The stock closed at $76.63 on September 27, 2019. But, Qualcomm could see a big boost in revenues after the 5G rollout in 2020.

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VI and Salesforce.com (USA)

Salesforce.com Inc (NYSE: CRM) is in a customer relationship management business that uses cloud-based technology. The CRM company introduced the virtual assistant Einstein on its CRM platform. Also, Einstein could play an important role in the VI initiative. However, the Salesforce stock closed at $148.26, -2.68% on September 27, 2019. Despite this, as of September 27, the market cap of salesforce.com was $133.6 billion.

Intel Corporation (USA)

Intel Corporation (INTC) is well known for its technological innovations in PCs, data centers, cloud computing, and IoT (Internet of things). It could play a key role in VI innovations with Project Athena. However, throughout 2019, Intel stock has been fluctuating around $50 with a standard deviation of approximately $5. Yet, as of September 27, the market cap was $225.58 billion. The share price closed at $50.78.

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Additionally, other partners include Bayerische Motoren Werke AG or commonly known as BMW (BMWYY), BOSE Corp, Harman International Industries (HAR), Sandfire Resources (SFR), AMLogic, and Sony Corp (SNE). Also, Audio Group, MediaTek (MDTKF), NXP Semiconductors NV (NXPI), and many more are partners. We will list more details once official announcements are made.

Company comments on VI

Ran Senderovitz holds a senior level post with Intel Corporation. Additionally, he is the vice president and general manager of the mobile product marketing and client computing group. Ran said, “Giving people flexibility in how they interact with their PCs is foundational to a great user experience.” Also, Ran said, “We are excited to collaborate to drive the industry to scale voice experiences beyond the many 10th Gen Intel Core based systems expected to launch with multiple voice assistants this year.”

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Rahul Patel is the senior vice president and general manager of connectivity with Qualcomm. He said, “Qualcomm chipsets allow multiple wake word engines to run simultaneously on a single device already.” Also, he said, “We believe joining the initiative will help make these solutions accessible to more device makers and on more form factors.” Overall, Rahul is optimistic about the future of AI combined with voice recognition.

According to senior analyst Mariana Zamoszczyk, who is covering smart living at Ovum Research, she was hopeful about the initiative. She said that VI could change the way households use smart living and automation.

Amazon encourages innovative technology

In the press release, Amazon praised the work in machine learning and AI technologies. Recently, Bezos was in Nashville to promote a robotics program. Bezos funded 24 public schools and encouraged future engineering. So, could this be the initial step for the age of smart robots?


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