Google intelligent ‘chatbot’ messaging platform would rival Facebook M
Google is set to build a new messaging service that takes advantage of artificial intelligence, according to Wall Street Journal sources.
The service, initially aimed at mobile devices, would be a pawn in Google’s fight against artificial intelligence rivals such as Facebook and Microsoft.
The platform would integrate chatbots, software designed to answer questions using artificial intelligence, to help bring an enhanced search experience with Google.
On the service, users should be able to message contacts or speak to a chatbot, which will do the legwork for any queries the user may have. No timeframe on a launch or name was revealed by the sources.
The platform would be similar to Facebook’s M service, a planned AI bot that Facebook is currently testing in its messenger app. Facebook M will search the Internet for answers to a user’s questions. Powered by Facebook’s research on artificial intelligence, M differs from other programs such as Siri in that it can actually complete tasks such as buying items, arrange deliveries, book restaurants, travel arrangements, appointments “and way more”, Facebook said.
“This is early in the journey to build M into an at-scale service,” Facebook’s David Marcus wrote in a post. “But it’s an exciting step towards enabling people on Messenger to get things done across a variety of things, so they can get more time to focus on what’s important in their lives.”
Google’s own chatbot service is headed up by Google old-timer Nick Fox, who is currently VP of communicaton services at Google, with sources claiming the search giant has been working on the service for at least a year already.
It was October when Fox attempted to buy 200 Labs Inc, a startup that builds chatbots, but the firm declined Google’s offer according to people familiar with the matter.
200 Labs has created a marketplace for chatbots on messaging service Telegram, an app that already offers up chatbots for various subjects. The startup is currently developing technology that will decide which type of chatbox is best suited to a particular query, for example, weather, news, or image search.