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If its innovations to enhance user experience in the app are anything to go by, the Messenger team at Facebook must hardly sleep. Today Facebook launched a personal assistant within Messenger to users in San Francisco, with a plan to eventually roll it out to other markets.
The personal assistant is simply named M.
M, Facebook says, completes tasks and finds information on the users behalf.
David Marcus, Facebook’s Vice President of messaging products, suggests that M might be better than Siri, Google Now and Microsoft Cortana: “Unlike other AI-based services in the market, M can actually complete tasks on your behalf,” he says
M is powered by AI that’s trained and supervised by people. The company claims that users can ask M questions like ‘can you help me order flowers for my mother’s birthday, where is the best place to go hiking, including purchasing items, get gifts delivered to your loved ones, book restaurants, travel arrangements, appointments and way more.
“This is early in the journey to build M into an at-scale service. But it’s an exciting step towards enabling people on Messenger to get things done across a variety of things, so they can get more time to focus on what’s important in their lives,” writes Marcus.
The company has said nothing about M pulling user’s data from Facebook but this is appears the obvious thing to do. If one thinks about it, from the articles one shares on Facebook, M could easily suggest articles to read without any difficulty.
Furthermore, M could connect to all the business on Facebook, pulling data from there to answer user’s queries.
There is no doubt that Facebook has a lot of data on its users and not using it to enhance M would be a mistake. If you want to know how much data Facebook has on you, it is currently allowing users to download an archive of their activities on Facebook, from status updates, shares, pictures etc.
M is accessible with a small button at the bottom of the Messenger. Users can just tap it and use it.
The success of M really lies in the data that Facebook has and if done correctly it could work.