Zuckerberg drills Facebook voice assist products

Facebook manager Mark Zuckerberg speaks out his main speech at Facebook Inc.'s annual F8 developers conference in San Jose, California, USA, April 30, 2019.

Stephen Lam | Reuters

Facebook manager Mark Zuckerberg on Thursday said the company is working on a number of different projects that could benefit from having an AI voice assistant.

"I suppose there will be more products we build where the voice will be an important interface in the coming years," said Zuckerberg, and spoke at the company's annual shareholder meeting. "We work with many different things around this."

The question comes after an April CNBC report that said Facebook was building a voice assistant to compete with the Amazon Alexa, Apple's Siri and Google Voice Assistant. Facebook confirmed the report.

Facebook already sells two Portal Video Chat devices using the Amazon Alexa Assistant. Facebook is the only major technology company that does not have its own voice assistant. It had an assistant called M who was launched in 201[ads1]5 and used human helpers to make inquiries from users, but Facebook closed the project early in 2018.

Now it sounds like Facebook is working on products that use a new AI assistant who responds to the voice.

"You can look at where the product map plan is likely to go about this and see why this would be a very useful and important way in which people would want to interact with more technology that way," Zuckerberg said.

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