In a surprise announcement, speech recognition startup Wit.ai has been acquired by Facebook today for an undisclosed sum.
Developers use Wit.ai to get structured data from speech; it’s as simple as sending the speech to the service and it makes available structured JSON for your app to use.
The company said of the announcement:
It is an incredible acceleration in the execution of our vision. Facebook has the resources and talent to help us take the next step. Facebook’s mission is to connect everyone and build amazing experiences for the over 1.3 billion people on the platform – technology that understands natural language is a big part of that, and we think we can help.
It’s not clear why Facebook wants Wit.ai, but it could be working on anything from a product to rival Siri to voice search integration for future release in Facebook’s main app.
Wit.ai says it’s existing platform will remain available for all to use and will become entirely free for anyone to use.