Facebook, today, marked its entry into the personal assistant space! Facebook has started testing a new service, M (yeah, exactly like James Bond). M is a personal digital assistant inside of Messenger that completes tasks and finds information on your behalf. It’s powered by artificial intelligence that’s trained and supervised by people.
David Marcus, VP at Facebook, introduced M to the world earlier today:
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.
If you live in Bay Area, you might have a surprise waiting for you in your messenger app. According to Wired, a lucky few hundred will get exclusive invites to try M. For starters, M can find a birthday gift for your spouse. Suggest—and then book—weekend getaways. Make reservations and more.
There were rumors floating around after the f8 developer’s conference about a possible digital assistant but were shunned down pretty quickly.
Before you start voicing privacy concerns, as of now, M won’t pull your historic facebook info to do stuff. It lives in the present and if the demo screenshots are anything to go buy, M is going to be a formadiable force to be reckoned with.
“We start capturing all of your intent for the things you want to do,” says Marcus. “Intent often leads to buying something, or to a transaction, and that’s an opportunity for us to [make money] over time.”
Using M is as simple as chatting up a friend on Messenger. To start a convo, tap at the small M button and send your query. M will decode the natural language, ask followup questions in the message thread, and send updates as the task is completed. Users won’t necessarily know whether a computer or a person has helped them. The human touch makes learning a breeze for M.
The age of AI has just begun. With Cortana, Siri and Google Now piling up features after features with every update, Facebook will have to make sure that M evolves and it does so pretty quickly!