This week, Buzzfeed reporter Alex Kantrowitz has taken it upon himself to research the ins and outs of Facebook Messenger’s new contribution to the AI assistant pool, M. Advertised as a “free virtual assistant,” Facebook is hoping to turn competitors like Siri and Amazon Echo’s Alexa obsolete.
What separates M from the others is her text-exclusive communication. Held entirely within Facebook Messenger itself, algorithms have been created that allow her to intuitively understand normal conversation and respond with a startling amount of versatility and adaptability. Without forcing users to memorize strange vocal commands or yell into a piece of technology, M allows for quick and comfortable communication wherever there’s cellphone service.
During Alex’s time with M, he researches airline prices, changes his mind on the details, books a flight and pays for it all through Facebook. He asks for specific types of restaurants in his area, and receives screenshots of their Yelp reviews. He even engages in smalltalk and asks M questions about her creation and her control over his private information.
Check out some screenshots of their conversation below, and look forward to the ultimate assistant tool.