Facebook reported early on today that it is working on an artificial intelligence-based digital voice assistant in Amazon's Alexa and Google Assistant vein. This news, first reported by CNBC indicates that Facebook did not give up its first vision a few years ago when it began to develop AI helpers for a messenger platform called simply M.
However, Facebook emphasized hands-free interaction through voice control and gesture control, rather than focusing on messaging. "We are working to develop voice and artificial intelligence assistive technologies that can work across the AR / VR product line, including Portal, Oculus and future products," a Facebook spokesperson said in an initial report. In other words, Facebook is not a competitor for a product like Alexa or a similar platform, but it is a proprietary feature of a family of hardware devices.
CNBC reports that teams working on the secondary team are working in Redmond, Washington, following the direction of Ira Snyder, General Manager of Facebook Reality Labs and Augmented Reality Virtual Director. Snyder's LinkedIn page includes a director of the product called Facebook Assistant. The Facebook Assistant is the internal name of a possible project. It is unclear whether it will be its final commercial name when it is released.