Facebook launches M; A Rival To Siri, Cortana & Google Now


A new personal assistant called M awaits you at your Facebook Messenger today! The company has begun a limited trial rollout of its virtual assistant M. This can be seen as the company’s first ever such major foray into web search, a domain dominated by Google.

Facebook is the world’s largest social networking platform, a very popular place to share photos and thoughts, all said and done, it is certainly not the place where people go to search something on the web or even book a table at a restaurant, nor to shop online. Facebook is somewhere down the line looking to change this by introducing M.

So the M that Facebook is bringing in will live in its Messenger and will compete with Siri, Google Now and Cortana. Just like all these do, M can tell you what the weather will be like today, what last night’s baseball score was and how high Mount Kilimanjaro is.

Interestingly, just yesterday, Microsoft launched their personal virtual assistant Cortana on Android OS as well.

It will also schedule appointments and send you reminders, just like its rivals again. However, there’s a difference in here. “Unlike other AI-based services in the market, M can actually complete tasks on your behalf,” said David Marcus, the ex-PayPal CEO who is now in charge of Facebook messaging apps. “It can purchase items, get gifts delivered to your loved ones, book restaurants, travel arrangements, appointments and way more.” Well now that’s something that Apple, Google, Microsoft and Amazon’s assistants cannot put on your platter.

The twist in how can M do that is because it wouldn’t just depend upon artificial intelligence to answer your questions. If M sees an obstacle, or cannot provide an answer to your question with its artificial intelligence, it would get back to a team, which is called M Trainers. The team would just operate like how customer service officials do. Also, if you don’t want to talk to M, you could just type in a command or question in form of a message.

M is the opportunity for Facebook to catch up with Google and Bing in terms of the amount of data. Powering a personal assistant is just not possible without a massive data bank.

Google had a humongous back up in that sector with years of search queries to understand questions people ask. Siri and Cortana are also integrated with Bing. Facebook does not have an information pool of a similar sort simply because people generally don’t type search queries into Facebook. M is the key that would help Facebook succeed as a search engine.

Well, though Facebook hasn’t revealed its revenue format through M, we’re sure its going to get the social network giant a big booty as the M will personally assist Messenger’s 700 million users very soon.


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