Say Hello To Facebook ‘M’ – Your New AI Assistant For Messenger
Facebook now has their own AI assistant for your use. Joining the likes of Apple’s Siri and Samsung’s Bixby is Facebook’s ‘M’.
‘M’ will look to suggest possible actions as you’re chatting with your friends on messenger. Facebook is looking to roll the feature out for iOS and Android users, however only those located in the US. You can expect Facebook to expand their AI across other regions over the next coming months. With Facebook having tested the feature first in December, it seems just about ready to be rolled out globally.
‘M’ Is Designed To Automate Your Tasks
Facebook’s designed the system to analyze your conversation in search of keywords that would trigger the AI’s capabilities. Ranging from sending stickers, booking an Uber ride to sharing your locations and even being able to send payment requests (much like the Chinese social media app – WeChat). ‘M’ has also been programmed to identify, using keywords, if and when you are making plans with your friends, to jump in and assist with the same.
While ‘M’ is currently available as an ‘invite-only’, its functionality looks intrusive (isn’t all of Facebook?) with suggestions appearing in your chat window with a signature ‘M’ logo, prompting you to tap on them to illicit a suggestion. Facebook first launched ‘M’ in 2015 as a standalone AI assistant with whom people could chat independently. Much like Siri, whose conversations are always analyzed by a team of humans, ‘M’ was designed to be overseen with a more hands-on approach as certain tasks might require human intervention and assistance. The fact that the new service is so heavily dependent on human resources is a major cause for the assistant not having launched anywhere outside of the US, and even then not available to the broader user market.
Since its initial launch, by analyzing hundreds of conversations and handling numerous requests, Facebook has managed to develop ‘M’ to a point where they are confident of its abilities to handle lightweight automation requests. These seem to just be stepping stones in Facebook’s grander scheme of a bot-run social network which with an indepth understanding and control over the human language will have extremely powerful prediction capabilities.
While ‘M’ is not designed, yet, to help translate languages or categorize images, it’s purpose, initially, will be to weave its way into your daily conversations and try its best to assist and support you, when appropriate.
Now with Facebook joining the game, a world where the Minority Report is a reality for us, doesn’t seem to be too far.