Facebook Messenger today announced that intelligent assistant M can now translate conversations from English, French, and Spanish in France, Mexico, and the United States.
M Translations in French is the latest intelligent assistant upgrade for France. Google Assistant multilingual support for a number of languages, including French, was added in August after Echo speakers and Alexa were introduced to the country in June.
In May, translations by intelligent assistant M were made available for transactions on Facebook Marketplace, and the feature was expanded to Facebook Messenger in June for Spanish-English and English-Spanish conversations in the United States and Mexico.
Facebook has taken a number of steps forward when it comes to AI-driven translation, including the unsupervised training methods for translation by Facebook AI researchers in Paris and New York and the 24 new languages that can be translated in Facebook and Instagram posts.
M’s boost in translation smarts continues to expand M Suggestions, predictive AI that suggests users take actions based on the words used in a conversation. Facebook announced at the start of 2018 that it would close its private beta to explore using M as a personal assistant and instead focus on M Suggestions.
M Suggestions can urge you to do things like add an event to calendar, share a GIF, wish someone happy birthday, or start a phone call. Third-party suggested actions based on the words you use in Messenger were introduce in Spring 2017 with a Delivery.com integration, followed by Food Network recommendations when cooking enters a conversation and Spotify recommendations when a song is mentioned.
Intelligent assistants from a number of tech giants have incorporated proactive suggestions. Suggestions are also part of the Google Assistant experience on visual surfaces like Android smartphones and the Lenovo Smart Display, and Siri Suggestions is making its debut in iOS 12 on Monday.
Facebook has not shared much about how M Translations is being adopted by Messenger users, but the company said in November 2017 that M carries out 100 million interactions a month.