Facebook is building a voice assistant, but does anyone want it?

Facebook is building a voice assistant, but does anyone want it?
Sometimes it feels like Facebook has no awareness of its public perception at all. There are already proven stories about how Facebook has been gathering more data than they claim and using that data in ways you might not expect (like using your phone number that you added for two-factor security to sell ads). There are conspiracy theories that Facebook is spying on users and listening to conversations.

Even so, Facebook built the Portal -- a camera that follows you around your room for video chats -- and now there are reports that Facebook is building its own voice assistant to compete with Google, Alexa, Siri, and Cortana (and Bixby, if you want to be a completionist about it). The Facebook Portal actually uses Alexa for voice commands, but it seems Facebook has been working on its own voice assistant. Ex-employees from Facebook told CNBC that a team in Facebook's augmented reality and virtual reality group has been quietly working on the project since early 2018. 

There's no indication of how Facebook would position the assistant, whether in the Facebook app itself or more as a replacement for Alexa in Portal hardware (assuming that hardware line continues.) It's also unclear how far along Facebook is in building the assistant or even where it's getting the voice data it would need to build the voice recognition piece. 

Also unclear is whether or not anyone actually wants a Facebook voice assistant. The Portal cameras have been failures by all accounts. Facebook's last attempt to make a human-powered assistant (M) failed as well. Add to that the general erosion of trust in Facebook, it's hard to imagine how the company could sell a product that actually does listen to you at all times. 

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13 Comments

1. Xavier1415

Posts: 144; Member since: Feb 26, 2012

Is this a joke?

2. frequency

Posts: 97; Member since: Aug 13, 2013

Sammy fans will say yes, because Facebook the App itself is made in the U.S, even though they get the highest risk to expose all of their personal secrets. And guess what? Next time, if Facebook says you kill yourself, i believe they will. Their loyalty comes from no reasons, if you loyal to the nation and your family is fine, but loyal to some companies which took money from you sounds insane.

6. cmdacos

Posts: 3805; Member since: Nov 01, 2016

Lmao, wtf is this mess... Put the drink down

8. frequency

Posts: 97; Member since: Aug 13, 2013

no, it's really easier to understand if you stay on this site for a bit of time. There are some crazy Sammy fans have crazy loyalty to sammy products. They hate other non U.S made or non U.S related products(Apple is excluded). So no matter what takes, they'll bring them down. I always feel these people got paid to manipulate public opinions.

9. iushnt

Posts: 3049; Member since: Feb 06, 2013

You need to stop smoking whatever u r smoking!!

10. cmdacos

Posts: 3805; Member since: Nov 01, 2016

I meant the incoherent rant you had. Couldn't translate whatever language it was in.

11. frequency

Posts: 97; Member since: Aug 13, 2013

Part of the reason i don't like sammy is because it always put the new product around spring allergy season.

3. lyndon420

Posts: 6439; Member since: Jul 11, 2012

All of the assistants are always listening. It's all about data mining because there's big money to be made with all kinds of different data. Just be careful what you post online and say around your connected devices lol.

4. Rager722

Posts: 617; Member since: Jan 30, 2013

Facebook just doesn't learn... After the whole fiasco before and even before that, they decide to make a smart home speaker and now this? Do they not know that people don't trust them anymore? Seems like they don't care and are going all out admitting they steal your info. Making this seems too obvious.

5. LFCRodrigues

Posts: 52; Member since: May 09, 2014

I dont use facebook anymore, but maybe they are looking to invest in some different areas because Facebook is going down

7. cmdacos

Posts: 3805; Member since: Nov 01, 2016

Just the thought of it already makes it better than Siri

12. Guseinguliev

Posts: 72; Member since: Mar 04, 2019

Google assistant

13. tokuzumi

Posts: 1785; Member since: Aug 27, 2009

Maybe Facebook can partner with HTC to make a phone that is centered around this assistant.

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