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Facebook Is Testing M, A Siri-Like Personal Assistant Within Messenger
New service will use artificial intelligence to make recommendations and even complete tasks for users of Messenger.
Facebook announced today that it is working on a personal assistant service called M. The service within Facebook’s Messenger application will answer user queries and provide recommendations for gifts for friends, places to dine, et cetera.
That’s territory already covered by rival personal assistants like Apple’s Siri, Microsoft’s Cortana or Google’s Google Now, but Facebook says M take it several steps farther and actually complete tasks for users. Introducing M a Facebook post this morning, Facebook VP of messaging products David Marcus explained:
Unlike other AI-based services in the market, M can actually complete tasks on your behalf. It can purchase items, get gifts delivered to your loved ones, book restaurants, travel arrangements, appointments and way more.
Marcus didn’t explain how task completion will actually work, but the Messenger platform has recently incorporated payment options and the ability for businesses to chat directly to consumers and that functionality will likely play a part. M will also depend on humans, which is different than Siri and the other AI-only personal assistants. Wired reported today that Facebook has a team of M trainers to make sure requests are answered.
Wired reported that test is being carried out for a few hundred users in the Bay Area, and will eventually be rolled out for all Messenger users.
Here’s Marcus’ full post about M: