Facebook Launches Messenger M, an AI/Human Virtual Assistant

Facebook launched today a new virtual assistant called “M”, that works within Facebook Messenger.

M, is a hybrid AI / Human personal assistant, and named after James Bond’s devoted secretary Moneypenny. Facebook Messenger M responds to users’ requests using artificial intelligence algorithms and is also guided by humans in the case where the Artificial Intelligence can’t complete a task. The AI component is expected to be trained and thus improve over time.

“Unlike other AI-based services in the market, M can actually complete tasks on your behalf. It can purchase items, get gifts delivered to your loved ones, book restaurants, travel arrangements, appointments and way more,” Facebook’s VP of messaging products David Marcus said in a Facebook post.

Marcus explained that M would surprise user with its capabilities relative to competitors. “It can perform tasks that none of the others can,” he said.

Facebook M is expected to compete with other virtual assistants such as Google Now, Apple Siri, Microsoft Cortana, and Amazon Echo.

Source and image: Facebook, Inc.