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Last Updated : Apr 18, 2019 05:52 PM IST | Source: Moneycontrol.com

Facebook is working on an Alexa-like virtual assistant

When it comes to Facebook, privacy seems to be the primary concern for users.

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Facebook is all set to join the likes of Amazon, Apple, and Google with its very own virtual assistant. A new report by CNBC suggests that Facebook is working on its own voice-based virtual assistant.

The social media giant is continuing to build new technologies that promise to extend its reach beyond the popular blue app. In the past, Facebook attempted to integrated AI-based digital assistance in its standalone Messenger app but abandoned that plan last year.

Facebook has been working on an AI voice assistant since 2018, with the project being spearheaded by the company’s AR/VR teams, to be precise, the same team handling the Oculus devices. However, there are no details on what Facebook’s new assistant will be called or how it would be used.

A Facebook spokesperson confirmed the development of an AI voice assistant in a statement to popular tech website The Verge: "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."

Some reports claim that Facebook is already in contact with several vendors for the integration of its virtual assistant into their devices. And, while the social media giant has more than enough resources to introduce its own smart speaker, it is highly unlikely that it will be able to make as big an impact as Google Assistant or Amazon’s Alexa.

Suggested Reads: Facebook says it uploaded email contacts of up to 1.5 million users

When it comes to Facebook, privacy seems to be the primary concern for users. The company recently released a Portable smart speaker – in the aftermath of a major hack that exposed millions of accounts – that recorded poor sales numbers and is currently available in the US at heavily discounted rates. Amazon and Google hold the lion’s share of the AI voice assistant market, and the social media giant will have to repair a severely damaged reputation before introducing Facebook assistant to the world.

The company’s latest voice assistant project is reportedly being led by Ira Snyder, Facebook’s director of AR/VR and Facebook Assistant.

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First Published on Apr 18, 2019 05:52 pm
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