Facebook has purchased a startup company called Wit.ai that helps make everyday language intelligible to smart devices. Wit.ai's software translates sentences like "Set the temperature to 70 degrees in my bedroom" to something developers can easily use, allowing Siri-like controls to be added to apps and services. The service has always been free and will remain so, according to a post on the company's blog.
There's no indication what exactly the world's biggest social network plans to do with its new acquisition, nor how much it paid, but voice recognition is a popular feature on mobiles, and special Facebook-specific commands could be useful. Wit.ai's existing trove of community-contributed data could also help Facebook with its existing research. "It is an incredible acceleration in the execution of our vision. Facebook has the resources and talent to help us take the next step," Wit.ai said in the post announcing the acquisition.
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