Facebook has acquired a speech recognition startup, Wit.ai which focuses on natural language and voice interfaces software.
Wit.ai is a Combinator based startup founded 18 months ago and it deals in creating an API for building voice-activated interfaces and natural language software programs which is open-sourced. Wit.ai turns speech into actionable data.
Wit.ai team said in a post about the acquisition, “It is an incredible acceleration in the execution of our vision. 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 platform will remain open and become entirely free for everyone. Developers are the life of our project and the energy, enthusiasm and passion of the community has helped turn what was once just a lofty dream, into a reality. We want to continue to build with you.”
The exact reason behind this acquisition by Facebook is not clear but it is understood that the voice recognition program will help in improving the experience of Facebook messenger. The terms of the deal was not disclosed by either company. Wit.ai’s founding team – Alex Lebrun, Laurent Landowski and Willy Blandin will join Facebook along with company’s other employees at the company’s Menlo Park, Calif., headquarters, according to a Facebook spokesperson.
Wit is used by over 5500 developers and it makes easy for developers to build mobile applications and devices that you can talk to. It empowers developers with an open source and extensible natural language platform. Wit.ai tries to learn human language from every interaction and leverages the community: “what’s learned is shared across developers.”