Facebook to Shut Down it’s Virtual Assistant M

Facebook’s M announced in 2015 is ending the human-assisted part of the service after two and a half years.  It is the text-based virtual assistant that used human workers to train an artificial intelligence system. The human-enhanced version of M is available via a bot on Facebook Messenger and is only available to about 2,000 people living in California. Facebook to Shut Down it’s Virtual Assistant M.

Facebook said that complex AI and human interaction were going to fuel M’s advancement. And it would be able compete with Apple’s Siri, Amazon’s Alexa and Google’s Assistant. But it was not to be.

Facebook to Shut Down it’s Virtual Assistant M

So finally Facebook has announced that the service will shut down for next Friday, Jan. 19.

Facebook said:

The final day of the M virtual assistant will be January 19th and contractors who worked on it will be offered other jobs at the company.

Most Facebook users probably were not aware that M existed, they thought M’s notifications were just a new feature of the messenger app.

Facebook said in a statement:

We launched this project to learn what people needed and expected of an assistant, and we learned a lot. We’re taking these useful insights to power other AI projects at Facebook. We continue to be very pleased with the performance of M suggestions in Messenger, powered by our learnings from this experiment.

The people who used the service have generated valuable data that can be used by the Facbook’s AI researchers.

Read next: Google Beats Facebook to Become Top Referral Source For Publishers

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