M (rumor previously had it that Facebook‘s new offering would be named “Moneypenny” for the assistant in the James Bond stories) is part digital assistant, part on-call human concierge. It offers users a way to tap the vast knowledge of Facebook stored in the databases of the company. “It can perform tasks that none of the others can”, Marcus says. You can ask it about finding baby gifts ideal for a particular age to ordering flowers for your mother or a friend.
According to Facebook executive David Marcus, M “can purchase items, get gifts delivered to your loved ones, book restaurants, travel arrangements, appointments, and way more”. Nowadays, however, AI is nearly everywhere.
Mr Marcus said M aims to do more than other digital assistants on the market by completing tasks on the user’s behalf.
Companies from Google to Taskrabbit are engineering products to act as superpowered personalassistants. Despite the efforts of these companies in creating AI, it’s still not enough to see what AI can actually do as portrayed on Hollywood films, like Hal and Wall-E.
Unlike its three sisters – as well as Amazon’s Echo – M is a hybrid. Cortana is Microsoft’s answer to Apple’s Siri and Google Now, which respond to voice commands on mobile devices. In India, we are seeing the rise of services such as GoodService (free on Android and iOS), who rely completely on the human element to assist users.
In recent months, the company has launched several other features to bolster Messenger’s marketability as a standalone app, including options to send money and make video calls, and even the removal of a requirement that new users have a Facebook account.
You use M by tapping the icon within Messenger asking questions, reported Wired.
Unveiled yesterday M is now available only to a limited number of people in the San Francisco area who will be able to test the service. Over time, Facebook looks to roll out the service to more users.