Facebook confirms plans for voice assistant to match Siri, Alexa & Google Assistant

in General Discussion edited April 2019
Facebook on Wednesday confirmed that it's working on its own voice assistant, carving out a space among competitors like Apple's Siri and Amazon Alexa.

Facebook Portal

"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 spokesperson told Reuters. Voice commands can be especially important for AR and VR headsets, since they're typically not used in combination with a keyboard, mouse, or touchscreen.

Portal is actually the company's video call hardware. Adding a voice assistant would naturally turn it into a video-capable smartspeaker akin to the Google Home Hub or Amazon Echo Show.

The assistant was first exposed earlier today by CNBC, which said that it's being crafted by a Redmond, Wash., team typically assigned to long-term projects. Development began in early 2018, and Facebook has allegedly been contacting vendors in the smartspeaker supply chain, perhaps pointing to a dedicated product.

Any Facebook-branded smartspeaker would face an uphill battle. Amazon and Google are by far the dominant players in the market -- Apple's HomePod, backed by billions of dollars, is estimated to have claimed just 1.6% of the market in the December quarter. Facebook has also been wracked by scandals, which may only add to suspicions about the privacy of smartspeakers.


  • Reply 1 of 20
    ElCapitanElCapitan Posts: 372member
    What can possibly go wrong?
  • Reply 2 of 20
    jungmarkjungmark Posts: 6,926member
    Yea like anyone would trust FB listening to them. 
  • Reply 3 of 20
    65026502 Posts: 380member
    The press release has already been written "Due to an unforeseen technical error we've been listening to what you've been saying 24/7. We estimate it has affected only a small number of user, roughly 800 million. We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused."
  • Reply 4 of 20
    hmurchisonhmurchison Posts: 12,392member
    LOL.  April 1st has already come and gone. 
  • Reply 5 of 20

    I hate crime novels they already know the ending too, especially who the bad guy is !

    edited April 2019 watto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 20
    dewmedewme Posts: 5,126member
    So... Facebook's customer surveillance apparatus will soon respond to "Hey Sleazy" voice requests.  
  • Reply 7 of 20
    boredumbboredumb Posts: 1,418member
    They're going too call it "Tattletale"...
  • Reply 8 of 20
    Great! An even more seamless way for people to divulge to Facebook all their deepest thoughts and secrets.

    Given now many millions of Google Home and Echo speakers have sold thus far, I really don't think a critical mass of people will be at all bothered by Facebook joining the fray.
  • Reply 9 of 20
    ArszyArszy Posts: 13member
    Facebook Big Brother surveillance device.
  • Reply 10 of 20
    bluefire1bluefire1 Posts: 1,285member
    I'm very happy with my 1.6% of the market HomePod.
  • Reply 11 of 20
    bluefire1bluefire1 Posts: 1,285member
    I'm very happy with my 1.6% of the market HomePod.
  • Reply 12 of 20
    genovellegenovelle Posts: 1,480member
    Google interestingly is much worse. Both companies have control over information on their platforms, so when no one is paying close attention negative stories about them get buried quickly. 
  • Reply 13 of 20
    chasmchasm Posts: 3,059member
    If you looked at the Google and Amazon voice-enabled spyware and thought to yourself, “hmmm ... this is good, but I need something that really takes the surreptitious recording and general invasion of my privacy to the next level ...”, your dream has just come true!
  • Reply 14 of 20
    Ya, F Facebook
  • Reply 15 of 20
    LordeHawkLordeHawk Posts: 168member
    It’s obvious that the next paradigm shift for the internet will be AR/VR.  I wonder if Facebook will name their virtual assistant Oculus, since it is their future platform.  The next logical step for Facebook is developing a digital assistant, it will be needed for AR/VR.

    Facebook seeing what I see, knowing what I look at, listening to my life, no thank you.
  • Reply 16 of 20
    MacProMacPro Posts: 19,662member
    You can select to opt out of the Russian accent.
  • Reply 17 of 20
    coolfactorcoolfactor Posts: 2,180member
    jungmark said:
    Yea like anyone would trust FB listening to them. 

    Too many people, I'm afraid. Brand power will win.

  • Reply 18 of 20
    spice-boyspice-boy Posts: 1,450member
    jungmark said:
    Yea like anyone would trust FB listening to them. 
    half the world already does trust FB. 
  • Reply 19 of 20
    MacProMacPro Posts: 19,662member
    As jungmark says it is a slam dunk for them as FB already by natural selection already has the most gullible users on the internet.  Everyone uses Google to some extent and many of us buy from Amazon whilst remaining wary of both company's spying games but to use FaceBook is like holding your hands up and walking over the barbed wire and shouting 'take anything you want and lie to me, I'll believe anything you tell me, I just want to brag about my latest trip".
  • Reply 20 of 20
    NotsofastNotsofast Posts: 450member
    The author of this blog is missing the key point by focusing on smart speaker share.  For example,  the Homepod may be in "only" millions of homes thus far, but Siri is by far the most used digital assistant in the world, now on about 1.5 BILLION devices and speaks more languages by far than any other one. If Facebook develops a digital assistant, they aren't limited to having it only on Facebook speakers.  LOL.  Facebook's digital assistant will likely work with many devices and platforms. 
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