Published On: Tue, Aug 1st, 2017

Facebook buys an AI startup to help Messenger build out its personal assistant

"We built a knowledge containing over 2 billion entities and created amazing AI assistant that uses this data to understand real-world nuances." [Ozlo]

Facebook has acquired Ozlo, an artificial intelligence startup, to improve Messenger virtual assistant for users.

The Palo Alto-based, Ozlo, specializes in understanding text-based conversations, and says it can understand and give answers to questions that don’t have simple yes or no answers — what Ozlo calls “probabilistic assertions of truth.”

“We wanted to build a new way for people to connect with each other, gather information and discover services,” the company says in a statement. “We built a knowledge graph containing over 2 billion entities and created amazing AI technology that uses this data to understand real-world nuances.”

According to Recod in the company’s demo its AI assistant answering a question about whether or not a restaurant is “group friendly” based on pulling and understanding multiple reviews.

Ozlo was co-founded three years ago by CEO Charles Jolley who was until 2013 the head of product at Facebook, launching the mobile version of Platform and Facebook Home.

Ozlo unveiled the Integrated Knowledge Platform For AI in March 2017.

Messenger started recommendations from its AI assistant at the beginning of 2017, which meant users could order an Uber and pay based on the conversation they’re having.

The startup has raised $14 million from three investors. Apple, Amazon, and Google are building their AI assistants by voice-controlled.

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