Wit.ai, a voice and speech recognition startup that was founded 18 months ago, announced on Monday that it will be acquired by Facebook. Neither of the companies have revealed a price figure for the deal. The social media giant will be making use of Wit.ai’s speech and natural language processing services to introduce voice features on Facebook’s Messenger. Wit.ai already has a community of 6,000 developers who use Wit.ai’s open platform to create voice interfaces for various mobile applications as well as for wearable devices.
Using Wit.ai products, developers have been able to easily build voice-control and recognition applications – a process which would otherwise be very time-consuming and would take up a lot of resources. Facebook, after acquiring Wit.ai, will be able to connect the developers and provide them with the talent and resources needed in order for Wit.ai to grow further.
Facebook will also be able to benefit largely from the acquisition – from being able to build an application which can be used through speech, to incorporating speech-to-text input for Messenger and much more. The social media network can also use the open and free Wit.ai platform to induct more developers into its Build-Grow-Monetize program.
In the past year, Facebook has made some big changes to its search features and other areas on the website. Now, with Facebook and Wit.ai joining hands, there is a strong possibility of seeing some more major changes being made very soon. It may not be long before we can start having hands-free conversations on Facebook Messenger.
Here is a small glimpse of what Wit.ai’s voice interface API can do in a home setting.