Facebook has just bought the conversational AI startup Ozlo, but will be proceeding without Charles Jolley, the former Head of Platform for Android at . Ozlo more or less functions as a non-intrusive assistant bot, learning from user input in order to efficiently produce outputs ranging from coffee spot recommendations to more complex research tasks.
Ozlo was original launched as a consumer app back in October 2016, at a time when the AI was still rapidly consolidating. In March of this year, Ozlo then launched a suite of APIs, or Application Programming Interfaces. One of the key components of the app was the inclusion of its knowledge graph, which was essentially a database of facts needed for the AI to intelligently communicate with a human interface. Ultimately, this knowledge graph functioned as a service sold to users, and will be wound down in the process of Facebook’s acquisition.
“1.2 billion people around the world use Messenger to connect with the people and businesses they care about,” a Facebook spokesperson said in a statement. “We’re excited to welcome the Ozlo team as we build compelling experiences within Messenger that are powered by artificial intelligence and machine learning.”
There are still no exact indications of what the Ozlo team will actually bring to Facebook, and whether the tech will be imported as a functional AI device, or if the team will be brought in to smarten up Facebook’s existing algorithms. One likely option will be the restructuring of information repositories, similar to what Apple did once it purchased Lattice Data.
Facebook declined to disclose the size of its purchase of Ozlo.