Facebook acquires voice-recognition firm

Facebook has acquired Wit.ai, a company that makes voice-recognition technology for wearable devices and internet-connected appliances. While a price for the deal has not been released, the 18-month old company, which is based in Palo Alto, California, is to move to Facebook’s offices in nearby Menlo Park, with Facebook set to hire a number of Wit.ai’s employees, including its three Co-Founders – Alex Lebrun, Willy Blandin and Laurent Landowski.

In an official blog post by Wit.ai, the team has noted “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.”

The company currently makes software that can understand spoken words as well as written text phrased in ‘natural language’, and highlights Facebook’s ambition to extend its reach beyond computers and smartphones by potentially integrating the software into apps and home-automation devices.

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