Facebook is Making Voice Assistant, Reports Say

Facebook has been working on a voice assistant to rival Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, and Apple’s Siri, according to anonymous sources in conversation with CNBC. A team in Redmond, Washington has been working on the voice assistant since the beginning of 2018 as part of a larger virtual reality group. Ira Snyder, Facebook’s director of augmented and virtual reality and Facebook Assistant, is leading the effort. Currently, the team is speaking to smart speaker supply chain vendors, according to the sources. It isn’t clear how Facebook plans to integrate their voice assistant into their website, app, and smart home products.

Facebook is building a voice assistant to rival Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant, according to CNBC.

Amazon Alexa has the largest share of the smart speaker market, with 61% compared to Google Assistant’s 24%. In general, smart speaker ownership is on the rise, with an increase of 40% in the year 2018 alone, according to a report from Voicebot and Voicify. In the same vein, Amazon Alexa is the most trusted smart home, according to a recent survey from ExpressVPN. While Google Assistant came in second, Facebook Portal only received 11% of the votes. Many of the survey’s respondents expressed privacy concerns regarding Facebook, with 38% saying that they were concerned that Facebook listens to their conversations to capture data for targeted ads. Only 28% of the survey’s respondents expressed the same fear about Amazon Alexa. Nearly half of the respondents said that Facebook Portal was the “least trusted smart home brand overall,” compared to Amazon Alexa at 17%, Google Assistant at 15%, and Apple at 14%. In accordance, six times more respondents said they preferred Amazon to Facebook for Smart home products.

Facebook could be planning to use their voice assistant in Facebook Portal, their Oculus headsets or another, unknown product. Given the public’s privacy concerns, it remains to be seen how their voice assistant can compete with more trusted assistants from Amazon and Google.

Aliza Vigderman

Aliza Vigderman

Aliza is a journalist living in Brooklyn, New York. Throughout her career, her work has spanned many intersections within the tech industry. At SquareFoot, a New York-based real estate technology company, she wrote about the ways in which technology has changed the real estate industry, as well as the challenges that business owners face when they want to invest in property. At Degreed.com, an education technology website, Aliza created digital content for lifelong learners, exploring the ways in which technology has democratized education. Additionally, she has written articles for The Huffington Post as well as her own content on Medium, the online publishing platform. Aliza’s love of journalism and research stems from the excellent Journalism program at Brandeis University. At Brandeis, Aliza interned as a research assistant at the Schuster Institute for Investigative Journalism, a non-profit “news room without walls”. There, Aliza was paired with an investigative journalist and used academic databases to obtain data on everything from the suicide rates in Bhutan to local Boston court cases. Her last position was as an account executive at Yelp, educating business owners on the power of technology to increase revenue. Throughout, however, her heart remained with tech journalism, and she’s thrilled to be writing for Security Baron. When she’s not keeping afloat of the latest tech trends, Aliza likes to cook, read, and write. A former high school “Class Clown,” Aliza has completed two feature-length screenplays, a pilot, and countless comedic sketches. On her days off you can find her relaxing in Prospect Park, trying the latest flavors at Ample Hills Ice Cream, and spending time with friends and family.

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