Facebook Messenger today announced that intelligent assistant M can now translate conversations from English, French, and Spanish in France, Mexico, and the United States.
M Translations in French is the latest intelligent assistant upgrade for France, following Google Assistant multilingual support in August for a number of languages including French, to the introduction of Echo speakers and Alexa in June.
Translations by intelligent assistant M began in May to assist in transactions on Facebook Marketplace and expanded to Facebook Messenger in June for Spanish-English and English-Spanish conversations in the United States and Mexico.
Facebook has announced a number of steps forward in translations through the use of AI, including the unsupervised training methods for translation by Facebook AI researchers in Paris and New York, and 24 new languages that can be translated in Facebook and Instagram posts.
M’s boost in translation smarts continues to expand M Suggestions, predictive AI that suggests users take actions based on the words used in a conversation. Facebook announced at the start of 2018 that it would close its private beta to explore M acting as a personal assistant service and focus on instead focus on Suggestions.
M Suggestions can tell you to say add an event to calendar, share a GIF, wish people happy birthday, or start a phone call. Third-party suggested actions based on the words you use in Messenger began in spring 2017 with a Delivery.com integration, followed by Food Network recommendations when you cooking enters a conversation or Spotify recommendations when a song is mentioned.
Proactive suggestions have become commonplace when dealing with intelligent assistants from tech giants. They’re also part of the Google Assistant experience on visual surfaces like Android smartphones or the Lenovo Smart Display, and with Siri Suggestions, which makes its debut in iOS 12 Monday.
Facebook has not shared much about how M Translations is being adopted by Messenger users, but said in November 2017 that M carries out 100 million interactions a month.
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