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Facebook AI assistant arrives in the UK

(Image credit: Image Credit: Jakraphong Photography / Shutterstock)

Facebook Messenger (opens in new tab) users in Australia, Canada, South Africa and the UK can now utilise the social network's AI assistant M in their chats. 

By using machine learning, M is able to scan the words used in conversations to recommend actions or services to users.  For instance, the AI (opens in new tab) assistant will remind you that it is someone's birthday when you are chatting with them or suggest you add a sticker when telling someone good night.  M can also suggest that you share your location, start a voice or video call or even save a video. 

In the US, M can even show third-party chat extensions that call upon bots from for food orders, Spotify for music and the Food Network for recipes.    

Currently Facebook Messenger has 1.2 billion monthly users and M will eventually become available to all of them.  Earlier this summer, M for Spanish speakers was rolled out for users in the US, Mexico and Spain. 

M was revealed in 2015 when private beta trials began for a personal assistant aimed at helping Messenger users with small tasks throughout their day and it was hinted that the service would one day be able to make reservations at restaurants.  However, it turns out that M is unable to do most of these tasks without help from a user though as the technology behind the AI assistant improves this may not always be the case. 

Facebook is working hard to develop its own AI (opens in new tab) and the technology developed by the social network could soon make its way into a number of devices with rumours circulating that a smart speaker and a laptop-sized device for video chat are currently being developed within its experimental Building 8. 

Image Credit: Jakraphong Photography / Shutterstock

After getting his start at ITProPortal and then working with the TechRadar Pro team for the last several years, Anthony is now the security and networking editor at Tom’s Guide where he covers everything from data breaches to how to cover your whole home or business with Wi-Fi. When not writing, you can find him tinkering with PCs and game consoles, managing cables and upgrading his smart home.