The speed at which tech companies seem to be popping out virtual assistants these days is mind-boggling. Meet the latest addition to the list – it’s Facebook’s Messenger-bound assistant, M which the social media company has been developing since 2015.
While M is far from being a finalized product, it’s first component is currently available. Using M’s wits, Messenger can now suggest a bunch of things to users.
Like most AI-driven helps out there, M uses machine learning to offer contextual suggestions. When M recognizes a certain theme or phrase during a chat, it will prompt the user to send stickers, pay or request money, do location sharing, make plans, conduct a poll or choose a ride.
Unlike the Google Assistant, you can’t summon M forth, but the assistant will pop into chats “organically” whenever it senses its assistance is needed. It remains to be seen whether M has enough wits to keep its presence under wraps when the conversation doesn’t call for its assistance.
Fortunately, if you don’t really want your chat being monitored by an artificial intelligence, you can go ahead a disable M from the settings panel. Facebook also allows you to configure it to provide only certain suggestions, like stickers or location sharing.
Right now, Facebook is rolling out Suggestions to users located in the US, but the feature will probably become more widely available in other markets, soon enough.