Just a few minutes ago, I was playing around with Facebook Messenger and "M," Messenger's new, still-in-test-phase virtual assistant popped up.
After reading through lengthy terms and conditions, I typed "hello." And then this happened:
OK, time for M to make first contact.
Facebook's VP of messaging products, David Marcus, described M this way in a recent post: "M is a personal digital assistant inside of Messenger that completes tasks and finds information on your behalf."
I was ready. And this is what M said:
My first move: Test M's Uber-ordering skills.
That didn't go well. OK, maybe we should get to know each other better:
Alright, time to give M something more concrete to handle: finding vegetarian food. I asked, but had to wait a number of minutes for an answer.
It looked fine, but I wanted to test M's willingness and ability to go cross-platform.
And to summarize information, and to do human tasks like screenshotting.
Time to get serious. How about booking a flight?
(I left out some parts of this conversation, such as me giving over my birthday and frequent-flier number. But what you see here is essentially the experience.)
I then clicked "Get" on the Kayak card, and M took me to this checkout page, all within Messenger:
The conversation continued.
Then the email came in:
And then there was one last order of business to take care of:
Alex Kantrowitz is a senior technology reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in San Francisco. He reports on social and communications.
Contact Alex Kantrowitz at email@example.com.
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