Facebook Testing Siri Competitor 'M' Inside Messenger App

Facebook today rolled out a new virtual assistant called "M" inside its Messenger app for a limited number of users in the Bay Area, reports Wired. "M" is powered by both artificial intelligence and Facebook employees, enabling Messenger users to ask questions and complete tasks such as making restaurant reservations, ordering birthday flowers or discovering the best places to go hiking in California.

Facebook Messenger M
Using "M" is as simple as beginning a conversation with the assistant through the Messenger app, at which point it will begin providing you with recommendations or ask further questions to narrow down your request. Unlike Siri, "M" does not have a gender, nor it is possible to know whether you are being helped by a bot or a real Facebook employee -- but Facebook aims to make sure that every request is answered.

"M" aims to take on Siri, Google Now, Cortana and a growing selection of virtual assistants as the "first stop for anyone looking to do or buy anything":
It won’t take long for Messenger’s users to realize M can accomplish much more than your standard digital helper, suspects David Marcus, vice president of messaging products at Facebook. “It can perform tasks that none of the others can,” Marcus says. That’s because, in addition to using artificial intelligence to complete its tasks, M is powered by actual people.
Marcus believes that "M" will slowly expand beyond the Bay Area and eventually reach all of Messenger's 700 million users around the world.

Facebook Messenger [Direct Link] is free on the App Store for iPhone.

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58 months ago
Does anyone really use these virtual assistants? The only thing I regularly use it for is to set a countdown for my cooking!
Rating: 10 Votes
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58 months ago
Maybe people can ask M how to close their accounts.
Rating: 9 Votes
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58 months ago
So Facebook employees will be reading your messages to see what you want and what you're talking about. Nice.
Rating: 9 Votes
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58 months ago
Thanks for the thought, FB, but I don't think most want another personal assistant to deal with - just for the current to step up her game a bit. Looking at you, Siri.
Rating: 6 Votes
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58 months ago
Yay for more data-mining, I guess
Rating: 5 Votes
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58 months ago
Siri is a joke at this point. Cortana, version 1 mind you, does more out of the box on day one than Siri has done in the last 3 years. I'm not sure what Apple is doing over there, but it's definitely not software inner workings of Siri.

After looking how Google Photos works automatically, I'm not sure what Apple is doing anymore to improve our lifes/save us time with software other than coming up with hardware designs.
Rating: 5 Votes
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58 months ago
This is what Siri misses. A team of people sitting back there working out how to answer the unanswerable questions. Just yesterday, I asked when high tide was at the local beach, and it told me it was 82 degrees - but with an apology! So it KNEW it didn't know.
Rating: 4 Votes
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58 months ago

Maybe people can ask M how to close their accounts.

lol.....while also purging those accounts of EVERYTHING!! ;)
Rating: 4 Votes
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58 months ago

I deleted messenger long ago when I realized it was always listening. Thats just beyond unacceptable.


I deleted my iPhone long ago when I started hearing voices.
Rating: 4 Votes
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58 months ago

Does anyone really use these virtual assistants? The only thing I regularly use it for is to set a countdown for my cooking!

I use Siri frequently for the following:

[LIST=1]
* Remind me about something when I get home/leave work/etc
* "Hey siri, what time is it" at night in bed. I have terrible vision without glasses and no alarm clock is readable by sight.
* Timers similar to your use
* When a job had a commute running next to the baseball stadium "Hey Siri, are the Blahs playing today?" as I left work to know to take an alternate route
* When riding my motorcycle, Siri is reachable thanks to my bluetooth enabled helmet. Good for switching music or getting directions to the nearest gas station when needed.
* Asking for the weather forecast when packing
* Unit conversions since the US is still stuck using King Henry's foot to measure things while otherwise swearing off anything British.

I've used it for many other things as well, but not as frequent as the above uses. Thankfully the use of "Hey siri, dial 911" has been pretty limited when out riding the motorcycle, but nice to know will work if something does go badly wrong on the road.
Rating: 3 Votes
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