Siri is one of the world’s most renown, if not the most famous mobile virtual assistant, but it may have finally find its rival as Facebook adds its own intelligent personal assistant called “M”. Artificial-Intelligence powered assistants aren’t really a new thing, as several tech industries have already launched their own intelligent personal assistants. Apple calls it Siri, Microsoft has Cortana, IBM dubs theirs as Watson, even Amazon has Alexa. Now, even Facebook is adding up to the list, and is calling theirs as “M“. Facebook M is instantly added to Facebook’s Messenger App.
So what is exactly that “Facebook M” can do? Like most digital assistants, it helps you in several things like travel arrangement, restaurant booking,finding a birthday gift for someone, and even answer some trivia. According to the statement released by David Marcus earlier today, “Facebook M can actually complete tasks on your behalf. It can purchase items, get gifts delivered to your loved ones, appointments, travel arrangements, book restaurants and much more.” Furthermore he adds, “This is early in the journey to build M into an at-scale service. But it’s an exciting step towards enabling people on Messenger to get things done across a variety of things, so they can get more time to focus on what’s important in their lives.”
While Facebook M can certainly do a lot of things, what makes it different from other digital assistants? Unlike the others, it does not have its own voice prompt. In order to communicate with it, you text it out just like any messenger conversation. Facebook’s new digital assistant has real people backing it up, and supervising its work. Another marked difference is that M is not as involved with your personal affairs like Siri does. However, Facebook M does not just suggest or search places, it can actually place an order and the live operator helps deliver the request.
For the meantime, only about a hundred test users in the Bay Area can avail of Facebook M’s services. As Marcus have said, it is still at an early stage. Whether or not Facebook’s digital assistant can top or rival Siri remains to be seen. One thing is for sure though, everyone is anticipating to see what it does.