Facebook is testing a new service called M, a personal assistant feature for its Messenger app “powered by artificial intelligence that’s trained and supervised by people”.
“Unlike other AI-based services in the market, M can actually complete tasks on your behalf,” including purchasing and making restaurant reservations, said David Marcus, vice president of messaging products, in a Facebook post.
According to reports, M is supported by Facebook employees with customer service backgrounds called M trainers, who will help it complete tasks like making appointments, differentiating it from the likes of Siri, Cortana and Google Now.
“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,” Marcus added.
Facebook has been developing services around Messenger ever since it created the standalone product: users in the US can send cash via the app, it has its own games and has been opened up as a platform for developers.
This week, Microsoft released a beta version of its Cortana digital assistant for Android.