It looks like Facebook might introduce its own voice assistant like Siri and Alexa in the near future. According to a report, the social network’s augmented and virtual reality team led by Ira Snyder has been developing a voice AI since 2018. The team has been contacting smart speaker vendors, likely to form partnerships that would lead to devices powered by the new assistant. Apparently, Facebook is mainly developing the assistant for devices like its Oculus headsets, its Portal smart display and future AR/VR devices.
A spokesperson said, “We are working to develop voice and AI assistant technologies that may work across our family of AR/VR products including Portal, Oculus and future products.”
Facebook does have experience developing AI assistants, but none that could rival Alexa or Siri just yet. It launched the M assistant for Messenger in 2015, which it ditched last year. Users can also trigger commands for its smart display by saying things like “Hey Portal,” but for the moment the device still needs Alexa’s help for more complex tasks. The project is obviously in its very early stages right now, so we’ll have to wait to see if Facebook’s voice assistants are comparable to those of its rival’s like Siri and Alexa.
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