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Raising its voice: Facebook acquires voice recognition startup Wit.ai

Kirsten Robb /

Facebook has acquired voice recognition startup Wit.ai for an undisclosed sum.

Wit.ai, which turns speech and text into data, announced via a blog post it had been scooped up by the social media giant.

“It is an incredible acceleration in the execution of our vision,” said the company. “Facebook has the resources and talent to help us take the next step.”

Facebook confirmed the deal via a statement, saying it was excited to have Wit.ai on board.

“Wit.ai has built an incredible yet simple natural language processing API that has helped developers turn speech and text into actionable data,” Facebook said.

According to its website, more than 6000 developers use Wit.ai to build a voice interface for their apps. Founder Alex Lebrun previously described the platform as “the Github, the Wikipedia, the Bitcoin of natural language”.

Neither Facebook nor Wit.ai have said what the future holds for the venture, although there is speculation the social network will absorb the technology into its Messenger service.

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Kirsten Robb

Kirsten Robb is a former journalist at SmartCompany. Previously, she worked at News Corp as a property reporter for Leader Newspapers and the Herald Sun, and holds a Masters of Journalism at Melbourne University.

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