Facebook’s M digital personal assistant might have never made it out of beta, but it is now being shut down in favour of other artificial intelligence projects.
It turns out that M – Facebook’s personal assistant project – was just… a bit of an experiment. We don’t know when Facebook decided that it wasn’t really ever going to be a real feature for all to use, but not having released it to all within two years of existence kinda gave that away. To me, it was a feature that didn’t seem to excite people at all. After all, who needs another digital personal assistant?
M’s untimely death may go unnoticed by most of us, but its features won’t go to waste. The learnings from the two years of M’s lifespan will be used for other AI projects, after the “experiment” shuts down on January 19. One of these, M suggestions, will continue to live on within Messenger, just without the “human element” (the people who trained its AI system and assisted its chatbot). The 2,000-person team will be getting other positions at Facebook.
As a Facebook representative recently explained, “we continue to be very pleased with the performance of M suggestions in Messenger, powered by our learnings from this experiment.” M was launched as beta project that left some features in its wake. These will now continue to develop independently.
Facebook hasn’t commented further on why M is getting the axe, but we can only assume it is because it will be concentrating on other projects that will be able to benefit more users without the drain on resources.
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