Is Facebook Creating an AI Assistant for Oculus Rift?

A Reddit poster claims to have inside information.

Since the debut of Siri on iPhone back in 2011, AI assistants have become increasingly more popular. All modern smartphones offer an AI assistant, as does Windows 10 operating system and the Xbox One, in addition to standalone AI devices such as Google Home and Amazon Alexa. Now it’s been suggested that Facebook is preparing to jump into the mix, including compatibility with the Oculus Rift.

A post on Reddit this morning from a user called guyfromacompanysorta, an account which judging by post history was made specifically to share this information anonymously, suggest that they had been working ‘with one of the “testing” contractor companies for facebook’. During their daily routine, a new job had been allocated: “I got a new task, which was pretty much recording some prompts (About 900 or so) via an app. I did alright at first, and then found the prompts incredibly weird.

“The included commands range from “Hey Oculus, do X” relating to Oculus software to generic facebook commands, like “Join x in a video call” or “set up a facebook event” or “reply to John’s message/Answer John’s call,” as well as several generic personal assistant prompts about weather, traffic, sports teams, politics, etc. (Possibly for a common assistant between Rift-Facebook?) One of the intriguiging commands I found was “group:friends:agree:no” and such. [sic]”

Images from the imgur post linked to in guyfromacompanysorta’s Reddit post can be seen on this page, with more available here.

While this supposed leak sparks an interesting debate about the closing of the gap between Facebook and the Oculus Rift, it is of course unverified and should be taken with a pinch of salt. Not only would these images be easy to mock up on a home PC, but also some of the software mentioned in the images is both intriguing and starts alarm bells ringing, including that of Alien: Isolation, a videogame which was once shown on Oculus Rift but never officially released as a compatible title. And of course, what relation would the Oculus Rift have to your thermostat?

Oculus VR is set to host Oculus Connect 4, the company’s annual virtual reality (VR) summit, in October 2017. VRFocus will of course be there and if the above leak of an AI assistant for the Oculus Rift is true, we’re likely to hear more about it then.

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