Facebook acquired an AI startup to help Messenger build out its personal assistant

Facebook has acquired Ozlo, a Palo Alto-based artificial intelligence startup, to help Messenger build out a more elaborate virtual assistant for users. Ozlo specializes in understanding text-based conversations, and claims it can understand and provide answers to questions that don’t necessarily have simple yes or no answers — what Ozlo calls “probabilistic assertions of truth.” On the company’s website, for example, 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. Ozlo’s website claims it has 30 employees, and a Facebook spokesperson says the “majority of the team” will be joining Messenger in Facebook’s offices in either Menlo Park, Calif., or Seattle, Wash. Facebook is buying the company’s technology and workforce, and it sounds as though Ozlo’s technology will fold into Messenger’s existing AI efforts, though it’s unclear if that includes Messenger’s existing virtual assistant, M. “They’re just going to be working with [Messenger] to continue their work with artificial intelligence and machine learning,” a spokesperson said. She also declined to comment on the financial terms of the deal. Messenger started rolling out recommendations from its AI assistant earlier this year, which meant users…

Link to Full Article: Facebook acquired an AI startup to help Messenger build out its personal assistant

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