Facebook Launches AI Assistant M

Facebook's M Assistant Will Start Suggesting Stuff in Messenger Today

For users of the messaging platform, M will pop up and suggest "helpful actions" in the chat window. Here are seven devices leading the charge. If it's stumped, it falls back to a team of human staffers who try to help, and then teach M to do the job by itself next time.

Paying or requesting money: M recognizes when people are discussing payments and gives them the option of easily sending or requesting money.

M, Facebook's virtual assistant, is available to users in the US starting today. "Expect to see more and more AI-powered, delightful and relevant experiences improving Messenger for you, every day". "Suggestions from M has been testing with a small percentage of users for the past few months - and it has been a great success - today we're expanding it to all Messenger users in the U.S.". Facebook first began testing this feature in December, and it appears ready to be unleashed on the public.

As M is slowly rolling out in Messenger, users around the world will start to see a redesigned way to compose messages, according to Landowski and Moujahid.

For example, when users are chatting about getting together for dinner, M will suggest that they create a shared plan that will remind them of the engagement as it approaches. M lets you set a poll topic and vote in group conversations.

So if you're in a conversation and want to send someone a sticker, M would look at the context, your location, and other sources of data to ascertain what the best sticker is to recommend to you.

Suggestions From M can be followed with a tap, bringing you to the specified action, or dismissed with a swipe.

Sending stickers: M shares fun sticker suggestions for your daily life interactions like "Thank you" or "Bye-bye".

As it is, M is still learning and expanding its dictionary; but boasts the ability to do a lot of things for you during conversation. "Eventually where we end up is in a place where we're going to pick up certain things that we can do very, very well, and enable them for everybody, and that's what M suggestions are". M Suggestions roll out to all iOS and Android users in the USA today, with more countries coming. M suggests "Get A Ride" and shares an option of Lyft or Uber. For instance, you'll be able to quickly share content like video and images directly from the text composer with a long press. This is Facebook's idea and where they're investing much of their AI efforts.

Facebook's new Messenger feature comes as a wide array of other technology companies, from Apple to Amazon, are also looking to expand the capabilities of their own digital aides.

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