Facebook has entered the virtual digital assistant space with a new service for its millions of Messenger users, known as M.
Facebook M is a personal assistant that will be integrated into the main messaging app, Facebook Messenger. Using this new digital assistant, the users of this application will be able to search for information as well as complete different tasks without the need of manually doing them. At the moment, Facebook reveals that this service is still in its trial stages and as of now, only a few hundreds of people have access to the service.
If you are a resident of the San Francisco Bay area, you will be lucky to be among the first persons to enjoy this new service on Facebook Messenger. The company however revealed that the rest of the world will be receiving this service in the coming days. This announcement was made public by the Vice President of Facebook messaging products David Marcus via his Facebook page.
According to him, this new M service is powered by artificial intelligence that is being trained and closely monitored by real humans.
Facebook M can complete the tasks on behalf of the user
Facebook M brings something new to the virtual digital assistant space, a space that is vastly dominated by Siri from Apple and Google Now from you know where. Even though the current AI-based applications are top performers in their respective niches, M steps in with more than just being a digital assistant.
If you have any task that you want performed online, Facebook M can do just that. For instance, the application can be used to make purchases on your behalf, get gifts and deliver them to any person you want, reserve a restaurant, make travel arrangements and appointments, to mention but just a few. On the other hand, Google Now can only manage to provide you with a list of recommended gifts that you can buy for your friend. Facebook M will actually find the list of items, place an order and get the gift delivered to the desired person.
Facebook M will be using humans to provide users with feedback
Even though Facebook M will be relying a lot on artificial intelligence, it was noted that this intelligence is trained and supervised by humans. The humans, known as M Trainers, will be composed of non-Facebook employees and their work will be to ensure that users get the best responses to their queries and on time.
The inclusion of humans in Facebook M is a rather confusing feat as most companies are working to eliminate and replace the work once done by humans and automate it. It is however expected that Facebook will hire more and more M trainers as the service expands to global users of Messenger.
M is expected to drop its dedicated reliance on humans at some point in future after the service becomes smart enough. As a result, the number of M trainers will be chopped as by then, the service will have been trained on how to work perfectly with the minimal human intervention possible.
It is also important to note that unlike Google Now and Cortana, Facebook M will not be making use of data it has collected about you over the years. The service will only be providing feedback based on the parameters provided by the user at that given moment. It also won’t be possible for the users to know whether the solution was provided by a real human or by software.
Facebook M is free of any charge and it will come integrated within Facebook Messenger.