Story image

Will Messenger create an AI overlord? Facebook expands on its artificial intelligence partners

Facebook has acquired Ozlo, another artificial intelligence startup, to help Messenger build a more elaborate virtual assistant for users.

This news comes shortly after Facebook announced its AI weatherman for Messenger.

You can read our full coverage on the AI weatherman here.

According to Recode the company specializes in the understanding text-based conversations, and claims it can understand and provide answers to questions that don’t necessarily have simple yes or no answers.

A short demo shows its AI assistant answering a question about whether or not a restaurant is ‘group friendly’ based on pulling and understanding multiple reviews.

Facebook is buying both the company’s technology and workforce.

It is likely that Ozlo’s technology will fold into Messenger’s existing AI efforts.

A Facebook spokesperson says, “The majority of the team will be joining Messenger in Facebook’s office.

“They’re just going to be working with Messenger to continue their work with artificial intelligence and machine learning.”

Based on User conversations on Messenger AI might begin giving users prompts to order Ubers and make restaurant bookings.

Expanding on the already existing, but rudimentary, machine learning feature the platform has. 

In a statement on their website Ozlo says, “When we started Ozlo, we saw a tremendous explosion of on-the-go communication.”

“We wanted to build a new way for people to connect with each other, gather information and discover services.”

“Our world-class team has built a knowledge graph containing over 2 billion entities and created amazing AI technology that uses this data to understand real-world nuances.”

Facebook undoubtedly hopes that this acquisition will help speed up the efficiency of their AI, in turn driving more users to actually make use of the feature.

Ozlo continues, “Now, we're ready to take the next step in our journey with Messenger.

“By joining a team that shares our values and our vision, we will be able to continue to work on building experiences powered by artificial intelligence and machine learning.” 

“There's a lot more for us to explore ahead and we're excited to bring our technology to the Messenger community.” 

The statement finishes with a thank you to Ozlo customers, partners, investors and contributors.

Royole's FlexPai: So bendable phablets are a reality now
A US-based firm called Royole is delivering on that age-old problem of not being able to fold up your devices (who hasn't ever wished they could fold their phone up...)
Hands-on review: Having fun in Knowledge is Power: Decades and Chimparty
They don’t revolutionise social video gaming, but they are enjoyable enough to occupy you during a wet weekend. 
Kiwis losing $24.7mil to scam calls every year
The losses are almost five times higher compared to the same period last year, from reported losses alone.
Tile's Mate & Pro Bluetooth trackers land in NZ
If your car keys (or your tablet) have disappeared into the void at the back of the couch or if you left them somewhere in your car, retracing your steps to find them could be a thing of the past.
Government still stuck in the past? Not on GovTech's watch
What exactly is GovTech and what’s been happening in our capital city?
"Is this for real?" The reality of fraud against New Zealanders
Is this for real? More often than not these days it can be hard to tell, and it’s okay to be a bit suspicious, especially when it comes to fraud.
Hands-on review: The iPhone Xs
The iPhone Xs is a win that brought numerous new and exciting features to the market.
How much does your Amazon Prime Video subscription really get you?
For our NZ$8.90 per month, the average cost per title is US$0.00126 - but we only really get a choice of 416 TV shows and 4321 movies. Choice is a little bit limited compared to other countries.