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Facebook to Shuts Down it's Virtual Assistant M

11 January 2018
Facebook to Shuts Down it's Virtual Assistant M

The final day of the virtual assistant will be January 19. However, as of now, the company is ending the human side of its digital assistant.

A spokesperson declined to explain specifically why M was being killed off, how many human handlers it had, and how much money was blown on research and development for the project.

The human-assisted version of the virtual assistant M was available through a bot in the Facebook Messenger app. It was limited in its deployment, with M being made available to around 2,000 people, the Verge said, out of 1.3 billion Messenger users. Contractors who worked on this service will get other jobs at Facebook. "We're taking these useful insights to power other AI projects at Facebook".

The basic objective of the "M" digital assistant was to provide to users similar to what Apple's Siri and Google's Google Now aims to provide. Facebook told The Verge it is "very pleased" with the performance of M suggestions. The assistant provides "suggestions" inside Messenger conversations that can prompt you to perform actions without leaving your chat.

AdNews received access to M for a few weeks previous year and found its restaurant suggestions helpful. Facebook cancelled its original plans to roll the service out broadly to all users.

The service will continue to live on in part through M suggestions, which offers an entirely automated service providing suggestions to users about payments, making plans, and sending stickers through Messenger.

Facebook's virtual assistant was pretty unique compared to the rest of the digital assistants on the market. There will be more to the story, so be sure to stay tuned in for more details. First announced in 2015 with the codename "Moneypenny," Facebook claimed complex AI and human interaction were going to fuel M's advancement. One of the prominent changes was the AI's ability to remind users to save content like articles, videos or photos to view them later or share them in message threads.