We’ve all witnessed the rise and indiscriminate adoption of the various digital assistants from Apple’s Siri to Google’s Now and Microsoft’s Cortana. To some users,the digital assistants have been awesome and overwhelming,while others are dissatisfied with complaints, blamed particularly on the mechanics behind them – AI-Artificial Intelligence. Still in the wake of their rise and the unending rumors of more digital assistants to come, Facebook has launched its own and apparently named it after James Bond’s devoted secretary, Moneypenny with functions that kind of sets it apart from the rest.
Of course, it makes use of AI-Artificial Intelligence like the others, but its own is backed or controlled by humans so its not just a ‘sit on desk’ or a ‘device capsulated’ assistant but one that can actually carry out tasks and get jobs done for you. You may not know how but what matters is your task is done. And that is where Facebook M sets the difference, with a number of M trainers-a group of non-employees who are tasked with the duty of responding to user’s questions and queries. Apple’s Siri and Google’s Now depend totally on AI,a software program that makes them limited.
So, in M,you shouldn’t expect a digital assistant that will help you plan your schedule and search the web for information, but one that will help you accomplish actual tasks such as making purchases and getting them delivered to your doorsteps, your friends and families. It can as well make travel arrangements, book appointments or reservations at restaurants.
It has no gender, and all you got to do to use it is tap a small button at the bottom of the Messenger app to send a note to M, the same way you might message anyone on Facebook. M’s software will decode the natural language, ask followup questions in the message thread, and send updates as the task is completed.
The company hasn’t announced any dates for general roll-out, but beta testing is already taking place with select users.