Facebook finally debuts M, the personal assistant for Messenger with a human element

Facebook M

Facebook formally announced the rumoured  personal digital assistant for Messenger, which was initially known internally as “Moneypenny”. Well right now, it is simply only known as M and has a really cool logo to go with it.


So what is M about? Well David Marcus, who runs the Messenger unit announced the new assistant on a post on Facebook detailing its features which were in line with the insider information that was provided last month by a certain website. He describes M as:

a personal digital assistant inside of Messenger that completes tasks and finds information on your behalf. It’s powered by artificial intelligence that’s trained and supervised by people.”

M is unlike the other popular personal digital assistants that we have currently like Google Now, Siri & Cortana that use artificial intelligence & specific keywords to understand & process your queries. M also is powered by artificial intelligence but it has a twist where it is trained and supervised by people.

Another question you may ask is what does it do? Well, David Marcus went on to explain what M can do for you: “It can purchase items, get gifts delivered to your loved ones, book restaurants, travel arrangements, appointments and way more“. The key purpose of M is to mimic the responsibilities of an actual assistant where you delegate it duties and David pointed out that fact by saying it enables “people to get things done across a variety of things so that they can get more time to focus on what’s important in their lives”

M is not the only digital assistant that has a “human” aspect to it on the other end. Magic is a SMS based assistant that has “trained operators” that respond to your requests about any service as long as it is not illegal. Well, it is free to chat with Magic however but they will charge you on the total price after you receive a service complete with a tip. However it is only limited to the US and it looks like this

Facebook was quick to note that M is currently being tested and this is only a first step in their plans to build M on at a scale service. They haven’t talked about how they will deliver goods that you order via M to your residential address, which could draw speculations they will either use a homegrown solution or outsource it to a third party. Nevertheless, it is an interesting service from Facebook & we’ll have to see if it will attract more users to Messenger.