Amazon’s Alexa and Apple’s Siri need to start preparing for more competition as a new challenger will soon be entering the ring. Facebook is working on developing its own AI voice assistant, similar to Alexa, Siri, and the Google Assistant.
The company’s augmented and virtual reality team has been working on this project for more than a year now. The project is being led by Ira Snyder, the director of AR, VR, and Facebook assistant. This team is also responsible for the company’s hardware, including its virtual reality Oculus headsets. So it is safe to assume that the new voice AI assistant might also be targeting the Oculus VR headsets.
Facebook has been reaching out and contracting smart speaker vendors, presumably to form partnerships for developing devices based on the new assistant.
Taking head-on competition against Alexa and Siri is not going to be painless for the Facebook AI assistant since these two have a huge chunk of the market share already. And since the Facebook voice AI project still appears to be in its early stages, we will probably have to wait quite a bit until we can see it firsthand.
Previously, the company did try their hands on developing an AI assistant for its Messenger app called M, but it wasn’t able to attract much hype or attention as it heavily depended on human assistance rather than being self-sufficient, so Facebook ended up killing off the project last year.