Yesterday in a blog post, Facebook made its Messenger digital assistant M available to everyone in the US. The company announced M over a year ago, testing it on a small percentage of users before expanding it to all iOS and Android users in the US. Facebook touts M’s AI machine learning capabilities in the post:
“It suggests relevant actions to help manage conversations or help get things done. We are bringing the power of M’s AI technology to support and enhance the Messenger experience and make it more useful, personal and seamless.”
That’s a fancy way of saying that M can recognize intent in messenger conversations and then make helpful suggestions, like providing an option to send or request money or to call an Uber.
Like Google Allo and Samsung’s Bixby, Facebook’s M is a tool to make consumer’s life more convenient. The company said its beta test of M was a “great success” but it is unclear whether all Facebook Messenger users will like M being forced upon them. But in case of a backlash, Facebook has an exit strategy. Users always have the option to hit the mute button on M.