Facebook buys AI firm Ozlo to transform Messenger

Facebook has bought artificial intelligence startup Ozlo to help build its Messenger service into a chatty virtual assistant that answers your questions.

Ozlo specialises in understanding text-based conversations, and claims its software can understand and answer complex questions that require more than a simple 'yes' or 'no' answer.

For instance, its AI assistant can answer a question about whether or not a restaurant is 'group friendly' based on data from multiple reviews.

Facebook is buying both Ozlo's technology and workforce, who will likely join Messenger's existing AI team.  

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Facebook has bought artificial intelligence startup Ozlo to help build its Messenger service into a chatty virtual assistant that answers your questions. Ozlo's website (pictured) claims it has 30 employees, the majority of which will join Facebook Messenger

Facebook has bought artificial intelligence startup Ozlo to help build its Messenger service into a chatty virtual assistant that answers your questions. Ozlo's website (pictured) claims it has 30 employees, the majority of which will join Facebook Messenger

WHAT IS OZLO? 

Ozlo specialises in understanding text-based conversations.

The company's software can understand and answer complex questions that require more than a simple 'yes' or 'no' answer.

For instance, its AI assistant can answer a question about whether or not a restaurant is 'group friendly' based on data from multiple reviews. 

Ozlo had raised $14 million (£10.6 million) from a number of investors before Facebook's acquisition, including US capital venture firm Greylock.

As part of the takeover the startup with close down its existing app and its enterprise APIs.

Ozlo has 30 employees, and a Facebook spokesperson said the 'majority of the team' will now work for Facebook Messenger at either its offices in Menlo Park, California, or Seattle, Washington.

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