When Mark Zuckerberg’s team of social media, social networking, AI and VR specialists isn’t busy “borrowing” trendy features from Snapchat, Facebook likes to “take inspiration” from Google, Apple, Microsoft and other rivals.
Granted, it’s almost impossible to keep up with whatever new “experience” each of the world’s countless digital assistants has brought to the market for the first time before the rest of them eventually follow suit.
But Facebook had over 18 months, not to mention all the prior behind-the-scenes development, to ensure M doesn’t come out as an exact replica of Allo’s Google Assistant. Then again, its Messenger app for Android and iOS is far more popular stateside and everywhere else, so why bother?
Besides, while we’ve seen it all before, perhaps M’s “machine learning” tricks are better executed, with more helpful suggestions and natural interactions. What US Facebook Messenger users can do, and folks in “other countries” will “eventually” join in, is easily send or request money, share location, make plans, start polls in group conversations, get Uber or Lyft rides, and send stickers. All with just one or two taps.
The artificial intelligence-powered M (short for Moneypenny) recognizes “intent” in a Facebook Messenger chat, joining the conversation whenever it feels needed. Over time, “more and more AI-powered, delightful and relevant experiences” will try to improve Messenger, unless you worry about your privacy too much and choose to shut suggestions down in M settings.