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Facebook is working on a voice assistant to embed within its products

April 18, 2019

It’s been developing the software since early 2018 but is yet to announce a release date, according to CNBC.

The team: The group developing the new voice assistant works within the company’s augmented- and virtual-reality group and is based in Redmond, Washington. The project is being led by Ira Snyder, director of AR/VR and Facebook Assistant.

Yet another voice assistant: It’s already a very crowded market out there. Amazon’s Alexa software dominates the voice assistant category, followed by Google Assistant, trailed by Apple’s Siri and Microsoft’s Cortana.

So why do it? Facebook says it’ll be tying the assistant to its products, specifically its Portal product and Oculus VR headsets.

Not the first: Facebook tried to release a virtual helper once already. Its human-powered “M” assistant for its Messenger app was launched in 2015, but Facebook abandoned the project last year.

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