Facebook acquires speech recognition and voice developing startup

Facebook

Facebook

Facebook has acquired Y Combinator startup Wit.ai. The startup, founded 18 months ago, is aiming to create an API for building voice-activated interfaces.

In a blog post announcing the acquisition the team at Wit explained that Wit.ai will remain open and free:

“It is an incredible acceleration in the execution of our vision. Facebook has the resources and talent to help us take the next step. Facebook’s mission is to connect everyone and build amazing experiences for the over 1.3 billion people on the platform – technology that understands natural language is a big part of that, and we think we can help”

Read more: Facebook ditches Bing, plans to introduce own search tool

Here is a video demonstration of Wit.ai’s voice interface API:

The move by Facebook will benefit it on its voice-to-text input for Messenger, allowing users to speak hands-free to Messenger, and Facebook could even include a voice search on its internal search engine the company introduced a few weeks ago.

Wit.ai already has 6 000 developers on its platform who have built hundreds of apps and with the Facebook team on board the number and variety of apps will only be more expansive.

“Wit.ai has built an incredible yet simple natural language processing API that has helped developers turn speech and text into actionable data,” Facebook said. “We’re excited to have them onboard.”

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