Say ‘Aloha’: As Facebook Reportedly Testing Its Own Voice Recognition Tool

Is Facebook planning to once again do a groundwork for an Alexa-based voice assistant? It seems like the social giant is reportedly planning to explore speech recognition with ‘Aloha’ voice testing, which recognizes words spoken by the user and translate it to text. Here are the details you need to know about it.

Facebook is developing its own speech recognition feature under the moniker Aloha, the latest information we have today is all things new on the development of Facebook’s speech recognition comes courtesy of frequent TechCrunch tipster and app investigator, Jane Manchun Wong. The same guy spotted reference of a prototype of the Aloha user interface while digging into the code of Facebook and Messenger app on Android.

Could Facebook be laying the groundwork for an Alexa-like voice assistant?

The company was originally said to be planning a smart speaker (also codenamed “Aloha” as well as “Portal”), but plans were apparently put on hold earlier this year ahead of the company’s F8 conference in May following a distinct lack of public confidence in the social media site due to the Cambridge Analytica scandal.

Bow now, it looks like Facebook is back again to work, with Wong discovering a new detection feature behind inside the Android Facebook and Facebook Messenger apps. Right now, all Aloha seems to do is transcribe text in a rough user interface. What is more considered here is how existing smart assistants already work, it’s something the foundation that the company will need to get right before moving on to more complex, digital assistant parts (assuming that’s what Aloha is even for.)

In fact, the code reportedly describes that Facebook might look forward to using the tool as a “cross-platform assistant,” similar to Google or Apple’s voice assistant. It has also been noted that the software which Facebook is using will likely run on both, Facebook’s software and hardware. It was found an Aloha logo with a graphic of a volcano “buried” in Facebook’s code.

It seems like Facebook exploring speech recognition with ‘Aloha’ voice testing"

Facebook did not respond to the latest development about Aloha, however, a spokesperson said nothing to share today but the team will be in touch in a few weeks about hardware news coming from the AR/VR org. Facebook is gearing up for the Oculus Connect 5 conference scheduled to happen on September 25.

For now, what we can admit is that the offering is simply a transcription feature which is a long way from having a full-blown Alexa competitor. Additionally, the Aloha Voice Testing code also refers to external WiFi or Bluetooth devices, meaning that Facebook could be looking at using Aloha as a cross-platform assistant – similar to how Siri or Google Assistant span both.

Finally, it’s certainly that Facebook is working on something related to voice – even if Aloha doesn’t end up being the next Alexa. Stay tuned for more!

(Source: TechCrunch)

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