1. 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.
3. After reading through lengthy terms and conditions, I typed “hello.” And then this happened:
6. 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:
8. My first move: Test M’s Uber-ordering skills.
10. That didn’t go well. OK, maybe we should get to know each other better:
12. 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.
14. 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.
18. 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.)
26. I then clicked “Get” on the Kayak card, and M took me to this checkout page, all within Messenger:
28. The conversation continued.
30. Then the email came in:
35. And then there was one last order of business to take care of:
- The Trump administration is rolling back an Obama-era policy aimed at protecting transgender students in public schools.
- North Dakota police have begun clearing out Standing Rock protester camps at the Dakota Access Pipeline site.
- Seven Earth-sized planets that could have water and possibly sustain life have been discovered orbiting a dwarf star, NASA announced today.
- Facebook is in negotiations with the Major League Baseball League to possibly stream one game per week during the 2017 season.