M (virtual assistant)
M was a virtual assistant by Facebook, first announced in August 2015, that can automatically complete tasks for users, such as purchase items, arrange gift deliveries, reserve restaurant tables, and arrange travel. As of April 2017, it is available to about 10,000 users. It works inside the Facebook Messenger instant messaging service.
When a user makes a request for M, it uses algorithms to determine what the user wants. If M doesn't understand, a human takes over the conversation, unbeknownst to the user. This allows M to learn.
Rollout of suggestions
In April 2017, Facebook enabled suggestions, powered by M, for users in the United States. M scans chats for keywords and then suggests relevant actions. For example, a user writing "You owe me $20" to a friend triggers M to enable the user's friend to pay the user via Facebook's payment platform.
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