Facebook confirms that it is working on an AI voice assistant for Portal and Oculus products

Facebook has published a report that says it is working on a digital voice badistant based on artificial intelligence in Amazon's line and Amazon's Amazon Assistant. The news, reported for the first time by CNBC, denotes that Facebook is giving up a vision that it launched for the first time years ago, when it began to develop an artificial intelligence badistant for its Messenger platform, simply called M.

This time, however, Facebook says it is focusing less on messaging and more on platforms where hands-free interaction, through voice control and potentially controlled control, is paramount. "We are working to develop voice support and artificial intelligence technologies that can work across our entire family of AR / VR products, including Portal, Oculus and future products," said a Facebook spokesperson. The edge Today, following the initial report. That means that Facebook can not position the product as a competitor to Alexa or similar platforms, but as an exclusive feature of its growing family of hardware devices.

CNBC He reported that the team that builds the badistant is working from Redmond, Washington, under the direction of Ira Snyder, general manager of Facebook Reality Labs and director of augmented and virtual reality of the company. Snyder's LinkedIn page also includes him as the director of a product called Facebook Assistant, which is probably the project's internal name. It is not clear if that will be his final business name when it is released.

CNBC says that the project has been under construction since early 2018, shortly before Facebook announced that it had closed its personal badistant service M. Facebook is also trying to build a robust bot network that can extend the AI ​​throughout Messenger and enhance the functions of automated chat, news alerts and even mobile games, although the Messegner really takes off.

This project and the various divisions involved in giving it life enhance the objectives of Facebook's new approach to experimental technology. Since acquiring Oculus in 2013, the prospective divisions of the social network have taken on various organizational structures, most recently in the form of a new pair of divisions.

The first of these two divisions is the AR / VR hardware group responsible for developing the video chat device of the portal, and that division now also includes the remnants of the dissolved building 8 of Facebook, a secret division formally formed by the director of DARPA and Google employee Regina Dugan, who left the company in late 2017. The second division is now known as Facebook Reality Labs, led by video game pioneer Michael Abrash, who became a Facebook employee through Oculus and Now he has the title of chief scientist in the virtual reality company. .

It seems that Facebook's AI badistant is built jointly by both teams, with Snyder apparently occupying positions in both divisions. Whatever the final purpose, it is clear that Facebook is treating its growing family of hardware devices as conduits for a shared vision for the future, one in which the AI ​​is distributed on all Facebook platforms and is not limited to unique products.

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