Facebook tests AI-based digital assistant in challenge to Siri

Facebook M

M can actually help people complete tasks that other virtual assistants can’t. Examples Marcus mentioned include purchasing items online, having gifts delivered to loved ones, making travel arrangements, booking reservations at a restaurant and setting up appointments.

It works similarly to other digital assistants, like Apple’s Siri, Microsoft’s Cortana and Google Now. “But it’s an exciting step towards enabling people on Messenger to get things done across a variety of things”, Marcus writes.

Facebook has introduced several functions inside Messenger, which boasts more than 700 million users, to transform it into a standalone platform.

Facebook is the latest technology giant to delve into the world of an artificial intelligence program that acts as a virtual assistant.

To get assistance from M, users can tap a button in the Messenger app and type a question.

M is part of Facebook’s Messenger app now for a new select residents in the Bay area of San Francisco.

Users of the M virtual assistant can make money transfers, activate a map to share locations with friends and even turn text into songs. But instead of using only artificial intelligence to answer your questions, Facebook’s assistant is augmented by real human brainpower.

The goal, as Wired’s Jessi Hempel points out, is to make Facebook Messenger the first port of call for mobile discovery. And if you’re anxious about privacy or creepy factor, for now M isn’t pulling from your Facebook history to complete any of its functions. This is largely where the human component will be at its advantage and also why there’s only a small-scale trial. Microsoft has Cortana. The company noted that during internal testing among employees, a favorite request was for someone at M to call the tester’s cable provider to have a service change made.

Source: Facebook tests AI-based digital assistant in challenge to Siri

Via: Google Alerts for AI

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