Facebook has confirmed a report from earlier today saying it’s working on an artificial intelligence-based digital voice assistant in the vein of Amazon’s Alexa and Google Assistant.
The news, first reported by CNBC, indicates Facebook isn’t giving up on a vision it first put out years ago, when it began developing an AI assistant for its Messenger platform simply called M.
This time around, however, Facebook says it is focusing less on messaging and more on platforms in which hands-free interaction, via voice control and potentially gesture control, is paramount.
“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,” a Facebook spokesperson told The Verge today, following the initial report.
That means Facebook may not position the product as a competitor to Alexa or similar platforms, but as more of a feature exclusive to its growing family of hardware devices.
CNBC reported that the team building the assistant is working out of Redmond, Washington under the direction of Ira Snyder, a general manager at Facebook Reality Labs and a director of augmented and virtual reality at the company.