The tech giant is looking to develop a voice AI, which would work across Facebook’s range of augmented and virtual reality products, including Portal and Oculus.
The initiative is led by the director of AR/VR and Facebook Assistant Ira Snyder, with the plan to develop the technology for the Oculus virtual reality headsets and the Portal brand of smart displays.
Users can use Portal devices to have video chats via Facebook Messenger. However, Facebook still relies on Amazon’s VR assistant Alexa for help with more complex tasks.
Facebook’s another attempt at introducing a virtual assistant was introduced in 2015 but failed to succeed. The AI assistant called M for the giant’s Messenger service, which was supposed to help users with smart suggestions fell through and was wrapped up in 2018.
Artificial Intelligence is the area of interest for Facebook, with the company’s neural networks actively learning human languages and conducting 2 billion machine translations per day on its site, which helps build advanced translation algorithms. AI software that Facebook is working on may also “go out and scan, and flag content that might lead to violence,” said Facebook’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg.
The latest ambition to create an AI assistant by Facebook is expected to successfully compete with its rivals, including Apple’s Siri. The social network hasn’t revealed any names yet, but here is an eclectic list of options, which could potentially work out.