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Technology Facebook to shut down M, its personal assistant

00:18  09 january  2018
00:18  09 january  2018 Source:   cnn.com

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Upon shutting down the human-powered M , Facebook described it as an “experiment.” I got access to M in October 2015, and used the service only about three dozen times over its lifespan. It felt like an amazing resource to have at my disposal, and yet in practice I almost never knew what to do with it.

Facebook (FB) said Monday it is shutting down M , an automated personal assistant once thought to be the social network's text-based answer to Facebook first unveiled M in 2015 as part of its Messenger app. The service, as originally conceived, differentiated itself from the crowded field virtual

a screenshot of a cell phone © Facebook/CNNMoney

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

Facebook said Monday it is shutting down M, an automated personal assistant once thought to be the social network's text-based answer to services like Apple's Siri and Amazon's Alexa.

M's last day will be January 19th.

"We launched this project to learn what people needed and expected of an assistant, and we learned a lot," the company said in a statement provided to CNNMoney. "We're taking these useful insights to power other AI projects at Facebook."

Facebook first unveiled M in 2015 as part of its Messenger app. The service, as originally conceived, differentiated itself from the crowded field virtual assistants by fulfilling more advanced tasks like booking appointments, ordering flowers and dealing with customer service.

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It was a fun experiment, but it ’ s time to shut it down . M users received messages today that Facebook is sunsetting the service on January 19th. At the time, Amazon just launched the Echo and Google Assistant wasn’t around yet. Facebook used Messenger and text-based interactions for its personal

Recently, Facebook has declared that it will shut down M , its personal assistant with artificial intelligence, developed to be implemented in the One of the most important aspects of the assistant was the implementation of the Artificial Intelligence of Facebook to make suggestions that allow a

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To accomplish that, Facebook M initially relied on a mix of artificial intelligence technology and real humans. However, this ambitious version of M was only available to a small pool of test users.

Last April, Facebook released a more underwhelming version of the service to the general public. The assistant effectively lurked in the background of conversations in Messenger and inserted "suggestions" when it deemed relevant.

At best, M automatically inserted fairly standard features like polls, stickers and location information. At worst, it could be tone deaf.

After testing M for months, CNNMoney's Selena Larson noted one instance in which she and a friend were "discussing a fiction book that involved exsanguinated corpses." M responsed by suggestion they "make dinner plans."

On another occasion, Larson said, "M suggested a vomit sticker following a description of a health issue affecting millions of women each year."

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