Facebook is working on its third virtual assistant.

That Facebook would pursue a voice-based, artificially intelligent interface is hardly surprising. A list of the world’s biggest eight companies by market cap contains the complete roster of seven major players in the virtual assistant market: Microsoft, Apple, Amazon, Alphabet (Google), Facebook, Alibaba and Tencent. The outlier in the list is Berkshire Hathaway.

Evidently, to be one of the biggest tech companies is to have an AI assistant interface. It’s easy to predict that voice-based virtual humans will become the preferred, mainstream user interface for almost all computing.

And Facebook also owns one of the world’s most formidable AI research labs. The company now spends nearly $8 billion per year on R&D.

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