Sci-tech

Facebook is shutting its human-powered M assistant on Jan 19

Facebook is shutting its human-powered M assistant on Jan 19

Facebook's assistant was text-based and used the social media sites Messenger service to communicate with users.

The M bot, first announced in August 2015 and is still in beta, will be shut down on January 19th, the company said Monday.

Finally, the company has said in a statement to The Verge that the whole human-supervised project was an experiment from the beginning and that it now plans to relocate the personnel who worked at the back-end of M to other posts inside the company.

The lesson that should be learned from M is clear: it's 2018, and digital assistants still suck.

A spokesperson declined to explain specifically why M was being killed off, how many human handlers it had, and how much money was blown on research and development for the project.

Facebook is shutting its human-powered M assistant on Jan 19

Facebook entered into the virtual assistant space with "M" back in 2015. Amazon and Google were also able to improve their assistant with better and more accurate results for users. It added that, "We're taking these useful insights to power other AI projects at Facebook". The company used the same method when it had contractors working on its controversial trending news topics feature.

So what this experiment basically did was allow Facebook to find out what tasks people would rely on a virtual assistant for and it automated the ones that it could. Yet, M Suggestions, a feature of the smart chatbot, will live on as a part of Messenger, where it's been occasionally popping up for some users on the regular, intelligently suggesting relevant replies to messages and other actions as well. Facebook told The Verge it is "very pleased" with the performance of M suggestions.

Facebook's virtual assistant was pretty unique compared to the rest of the digital assistants on the market. M isn't going away entirely.

This is it for now, folks. However, unlike these audio assist services, M was integrated in Facebook's chat application Messenger. Share your views with us in the comments section below.

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