Facebook to discontinue human-powered AI service M

Facebook to discontinue human-powered AI service M

M users received messages from Facebook notifying them that the service is shutting down.

Facebook announced the final version of M will be on January 19 and any contractors who worked on the virtual assistant service will be offered work in another position at the company.

The lesson that should be learned from M is clear: it's 2018, and digital assistants still suck. Behind the scenes, M relied on humans to answer more complex inquiries from users.

Facebook has a virtual assistant called "M" you probably didn't know existed. 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.

Introduced in 2015, M is powered by Facebook-built AI and offers suggestions in your conversations just like the Google's Allo and perform tasks like location sharing, setting reminders, sending or requesting money and more.

Facebook to discontinue human-powered AI service M
Facebook to discontinue human-powered AI service M

In an earlier statement to the press, first shared with The Verge, Facebook said: "We're taking these useful insights to power other AI projects at Facebook". The company used the same method when it had contractors working on its controversial trending news topics feature. In addition to this, Facebook also wanted users to make use of the assistant without the need to jump from one service to another. If you find yourself wishing to talk to a virtual assistant in a chat app, Allo is still an option.

AdNews received access to M for a few weeks a year ago and found its restaurant suggestions helpful. Starting on January 20, all users will only have access to M suggestions, which can now be used for making plans, sending stickers through the Messenger app, and receiving suggestions for payments. "We continue to be very pleased with the performance of M suggestions in Messenger, powered by our learnings from this experiment".

Facebook's virtual assistant is about to be put out to pasture.

This is it for now, folks.

Facebook first announced M in August 2015 in beta form as a personal assistant created to live inside the company's Messenger app. Share your views with us in the comments section below.

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