Menlo Park-based social networking firm, Facebook Inc. is reportedly said to be shutting down its three (3) year old text-based virtual assistant; ‘M‘ that helped researchers train an Artificial Intelligence (AI) system. Most Facebook users probably weren’t even aware M existed, or at the very least didn’t consider it to be a kind of virtual assistant.
The virtual assistant was available through a bot on Facebook Messenger and according to the Wired, it was only offered to 10,000 people in the San Francisco area, who used it to do things like book restaurant reservations, change flights, send gifts, and wait on hold with customer service.
“We launched this project to learn what people needed and expected of an assistant, and we learned a lot, and We’re taking these useful insights to power other AI projects at Facebook,” Facebook told TheVerge.
Facebook had described ‘M’ as a “beta” and suggested the human-powered assistant would be available for more users.