Facebook’s AI assistant M expands to Australia, Canada, South Africa, and the U.K.

The Facebook Messenger demo booth at F8 2017 held in the San Jose Convention Center April 18-19, 2017 in San Jose, Calif.

Image Credit: Khari Johnson

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Facebook’s intelligent assistant M is now available for Facebook Messenger users in Australia, Canada, South Africa, and the U.K. M in Facebook Messenger first became available in April. M uses machine learning to scan words used in conversations to recommend actions or services.

Tell someone good night and M may suggest a good night sticker. Chat about a plan and M may suggest you create a calendar event. M also suggests you do things like share your location, save a URL or video, initiate a voice or video call, or send best wishes when you’re speaking to someone on their birthday.

Third-party chat extension suggestions from M that bring bots for food orders, Food Network recipes, and Spotify music are only available in the United States.

The move to English-speaking nations beyond the U.S. continues the spread of M to Messenger’s 1.2 billion monthly active users. M for Spanish speakers launched earlier this summer in the U.S., Mexico, and Spain.

Facebook’s AI assistant M first entered the public imagination in 2015 when private beta trials began for a personal assistant to help Messenger users with daily tasks or make restaurant reservations, buy a gift, or book a vacation. However, earlier this year, reports surfaced that M was unable to handle a majority of tasks without human intervention.

M and other AI produced by Facebook researchers could more than likely play a role beyond Facebook Messenger someday soon. Earlier this month, anonymous sources told Bloomberg Facebook’s experimental Building 8 is developing a smart speaker and a laptop-sized device for video chat that could be released by spring 2018.

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