Tag Archive for ‘Facebook M’

A Chat with Facebook M ➝

Alex Kantrowitz spent some time chatting with M, Facebook Messanger’s virtual assistant. It’s a pretty impressive showcase of artificial Intellegence, although I’m still a bit skeptical. Especially considering the “number of minutes” Alex waited for an answer to “where is the best vegetarian food within five blocks?” I asked Siri the same exact question and was immediately given an answer.

I certainly can’t know if humans had a hand in Alex and M’s exchange, but BuzzFeed News is a big deal and it would be in Facebook’s best interest for this article to be as positive as possible. Personally, I’ll wait for the masses to get their hands on M before I start praising it’s contextual awareness and natural language parsing abilities.

Facebook M, a Personal Assistant for Messenger ➝

Natt Garun, writing for The Next Web:

Facebook’s Vice President of Messaging Products David Marcus today announced a new service called M. M is designed to be your personal assistant, which you can use to ask for recommendations such as gift ideas or restaurants to visit when you’re traveling. […]

The service is similar to what smartphones offer with Siri and Cortana, though offering the service via Messenger means anyone can use it as long as the app is available on their platform.

M looks like an impressive service, but I don’t think it’s a very good competitor to Siri. The barrier to entry for using it is just too high. With Siri, users are a simple long-press on their home button away from setting timers, reminders, asking questions, and more. But with M users have to launch Facebook’s Messenger app and enter a conversation to start making use of its personal assistant features.

Some users are bound to love M and it being tied to Facebook gives it some level of awareness that may be unique compared to Siri or Google Now. And, given the size of Facebook’s user base, I’m certain there’s plenty of users who practically live in Facebook Messenger. However, its inherent cross platform “benefits” could ultimately be its death knell — the user experience of having M tucked away inside of an application pales in comparison to activating Siri with a hardware button without even needing to unlock your device.