It looks like Facebook is aiming to add a new voice to the chorus of AI assistants. The social media company's rumored offering would join the ranks of Apple's Siri, Amazon's Alexa, and Samsung's Bixby, among others.
Developer Blake Tsuzaki discovered some code in a previous version of Facebook's mobile app that controlled a voice search feature, and delivered his findings to Business Insider. In an email, Tsuzaki told the publication, "It’s non-functional right now (listens, and then errors out), but I’m finding a way to get it to do a bit more."
Facebook building a voice assistant for its mobile apps ?
h/t Blake Tsuzaki pic.twitter.com/O8qs2ztTUe
— Matt Navarra ⭐️ (@MattNavarra) September 10, 2017
Facebook has denied in the past that it is working on such technology. David Marcus, Facebook Messenger chief, stated in April, "We are not working on that actively right now." Yet this finding seems to prove that at least moderately false.
This discovery follows shortly after Apple made the announcement that the upcoming iPhone X will be equipped with its own graphics processing unit (GPU), which will afford it the computing power to bring machine learning capabilities to the palm of your hand. A dedicated GPU could help push Siri miles ahead of the competition.
At this point, Facebook's personal assistant is just speculation, but it's one that has some legs in the competitive tech space. The discovery that Tesla may be developing its own music streaming service was also uncovered by someone taking a dip into the code behind the software.
Competition in the growing field of artificially intelligent personal assistants will hopefully allow for the technology to grow faster and be more reliable. Not much sets the current contenders apart, but adding more competitors could widen the scope of what's to come.