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Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Facebook Messenger's M

Been asked to go back and look at some of the AI/Assistant components of Facebook M, just launched in the UK after some time in the US.  Facebook's work in the AI and machine learning space continues to expand.

In particular look at their work on dialog research,  covered in the tags below. Ultimately handling dialog intelligently will be key in assistance.  The operationally multilingual approach is also rare.

Everything You Need to Know About Facebook Messenger's M Assistant
Facebook's M assistant can now suggest video or voice calls   By Christian de Looper in DigitalTrends. 

Notice a little "M" logo near the textbox in Facebook Messenger? It's the social media network's artificially intelligent assistant that's meant to offer suggestions in your conversations -- similar to how Google Assistant can jump in to help in conversations via Allo. With the assistant officially rolled out across the U.S., it is now available in both English and Spanish to all Messenger users in the country.  

M is now able to provide suggestions in Spanish -- like sending payments or sharing your location -- and the feature is gradually rolling out in Mexico for iOS and Android, Facebook told Digital Trends. If you'd like to receive M Suggestions in Spanish, you can change the preferred language to Spanish.

M itself is powered by Facebook-built AI, and so far works by popping up in your chats when it detects that it can help with something. For example, if you mention going somewhere, M can detect this and will offer up a quick way to book a ride with Uber or Lyft (you can set your preference) -- all without leaving the Messenger app.

Before diving into what Facebook's M can do, there are a few things to keep in mind. Most importantly, Facebook is still working on M and it's likely the assistant will evolve a lot over the next few months and years. It will also roll out globally at some point as Facebook says users across the globe will "start seeing a redesigned way to compose messages." If you want nothing to do with this AI revolution, or if you think M makes your conversations too cluttered, you can mute it by heading to Messenger's settings -- tap on the person icon on the top-right of Messenger's main page, then tap M settings and toggle Suggestions off.   ... ." 

My coverage of this and many other personal assistants.

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