Facebook Inc (FB) Just Put the ‘M’ in Artificial Intelligence

Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) is the world’s largest and most popular social networking site used for sharing photos and major life events with friends, relatives, and colleagues. But, it is not used for other day-to-day tasks like search, booking restaurant reservations or for shopping online. Facebook wants to change this, and therefore, has come up with a Facebook M – a virtual assistant.

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Facebook M – how it differs from others?

Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) M will live in the Messenger iOS and Android apps, and has been launched to compete directly with Apple’s Siri, Google Now, Microsoft’s Cortana and Amazon’s Alexa.

Facebook’s virtual assistant offers similar services to its rivals, for e.g. it can provide details on the weather, answers to queries related to sports and general knowledge etc. It can also be used for making appointments and sending reminders.

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‘M’ also differs from its rivals in several ways. The most unique feature of ‘M’ is that it can do certain tasks on behalf of its users such as buying items, delivery of gifts to the loved ones, making food reservations, travel plans, fixing appointments and many more.

David Marcus, in-charge of Facebook messaging apps, while introducing ‘M’ said in a post that for answering the questions, M does not rely solely on artificial intelligence, and that is why it is able to perform all the tasks noted above. In case, ‘M’ does not have an answer to a question it simply turns to customer support, called M Trainers, to find the answer.

“This is early in the journey to build M into an at-scale service,” Marcus said.

Google Now in trouble

As of now, the Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) feature has been made available to only a few in the San Francisco Bay Area, so not much can be said about its success.

But, going by what has been heard so far, ‘M’ surely sounds threatening to the rivals, especially Google Now, whose original team (except for one) has left the firm, says a report from Re/Code. Google Now was a part of the update to the Jelly Bean version of Android, and was announced in 2012. It was more of an experimental project.

The personal digital assistant is getting smarter, but it is not getting much priority under the new CEO Sundar Pichai, who has more in common with the teams on popular core products such as Chrome and Android.

This could be one of the reasons behind the exodus of the Now team, the report said. Google Now got a lot of support from the earlier CEO Larry Page, but after he stepped down, Google Now eventually got merged into the ‘search’ division even after opposition from several members of the original team.

At around 9.31 am EDT, Facebook shares were up 1.80% at $88.75, and year to date, the stock is up almost 13%.

Facebook Inc (FB) Just Put the ‘M’ in Artificial Intelligence

Via: Google Alerts for AI

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