Facebook working on voice assistant to rival Amazon's Alexa

Published: April 18, 2019
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A Facebook sign is seen during the China International Import Expo (CIIE), at the National Exhibition and Convention Center in Shanghai, China November 5, 2018.
PHOTO: REUTERS

A Facebook sign is seen during the China International Import Expo (CIIE), at the National Exhibition and Convention Center in Shanghai, China November 5, 2018. PHOTO: REUTERS

Facebook is working to develop a voice assistant to rival the likes of Amazon.com’s Alexa, Apple’s Siri and Alphabet’s Google Assistant.

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“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 Reuters in an e-mailed response on Wednesday.

Earlier in the day, CNBC reported about the development, saying that the team behind the technology has been contacting vendors in the smart speaker supply chain.

However, it remains unclear how exactly Facebook envisions people using the assistant, but it could potentially be used on the company’s Portal video chat smart speakers, the Oculus headsets or other future projects, CNBC reported.

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According to research firm eMarketer, Amazon’s Echo is expected to capture 63.3 per cent of smart speaker users in 2019, while Google Home will account for 31 per cent.

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