When Facebook launched its M project back in 2015, they made sure that people knew the text-based virtual assistant was just in beta. The service combined artificial intelligence and actual humans and was available as a bot in Facebook Messenger. But it looks like that “experiment” has already done its part as the social media giant has now announced it is ending the project. It’s not a big loss per se since only around 2,000 people were actually able to utilize it.
The idea behind Facebook M was that human beings will train an artificial intelligence system and while it did launch in beta, they had hopes it will be useful over time. Now they have decided to take the “useful insights” that they learned from the two and a half years of its existence and use this to improve and power the other AI projects of the company. Some aspects of it will actually live on with M suggestions, which, as you guessed it, makes suggestions for payments, making plans with your friends or even something as simple as sending stickers appropriate to your conversations.
Bot-based online shopping is said to be the future of e-commerce and yet it has not taken off as expected. Some people still prefer to use native apps or even the “old school” websites to make their purchases. The on-call virtual assistant would have been something interesting to have by more people, but we guess Facebook has other plans for what they’ve learned about bots and the like.
M will only be around until January 19th and the contractors who were working on it for the past couple of years will be offered other jobs within Facebook.
VIA: The Verge