Skip to main content

Facebook buys AI start-up to make Messenger smarter than ever

(Image credit: Image Credit: Katherine Welles / Shutterstock)

Facebook has acquired an AI start-up as it aims to strengthen the artificial intelligence capabilities of its Messenger platform.

The start-up in question is called Ozlo. It is based in Palo Alto, California, and has roughly 30 employees, the majority of which will be joining Facebook in either Menlo Park, California, or Seattle, Washington.

Financial details of the deal were not disclosed.

What makes this AI technology stand out from the rest is its alleged possibility to answer questions with more than a simple “Yes“, or “No“. It is allegedly capable of reading and understanding text and context, and capable of forming answers based on that knowledge.

On Ozlo’s website, the AI is capable of answering if a restaurant is ‘group friendly’ or not, by reading and understanding multiple reviews.

It was also left unclear what the position of Ozlo will be in regards to Facebook’s current 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.

Facebook is currently focused on text-based AI, while voice-powered technology is still out of its reach. However, with the help of Ozlo, that process might be given a solid boost.

“Until we nail text we don’t want to go into a world where we teach people what we cannot do well,” Messenger’s product boss Stan Chudnovsky said back in May.

“Otherwise we’re going to be in the world where people very quickly realize certain things that we don’t do well yet and then they may not give us another try.”

Image Credit: Katherine Welles / Shutterstock

Sead Fadilpašić

Sead is a freelance journalist with more than 15 years of experience in writing various types of content, from blogs, whitepapers, and reviews to ebooks, and many more, across sites including Al Jazeera Balkans, TechRadar Pro, IT Pro Portal, and CryptoNews.