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Facebook AI Communications Privacy

Facebook Messenger Now Analyzes Your Chats To Give You Recommendations (yahoo.com) 70

Facebook's messaging platform, which reports 1 billion monthly active users, announced on Thursday that it is rolling out its experimental virtual assistant "M" to all Messenger users in the United States this week through a new feature called M Suggestions. A report adds: M Suggestions does exactly what its name suggests, using artificial intelligence to understand what is being said in any given Messenger chat to make recommendations that pop up during the course of a conversation. Some folks who already feel like Facebook is watching them when they see ads in their News Feed for bridal gowns after getting engaged may be creeped out by the fact their messages are being analyzed. But Stan Chudnovsky, Facebook Messenger's Head of Product, contends their goal with M Suggestions is to offer a better user experience. To wit, M Suggestions does not currently generate any revenues for Messenger. "The history of the internet is all about removing friction," Chudnovsky told Yahoo Finance. "In this case, instead of you having to think about doing something, like sending a sticker, paying a friend for something or sharing your location, and having to press three taps, M does it for you."
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Facebook Messenger Now Analyzes Your Chats To Give You Recommendations

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  • if it's a good thing?
    • It's Facebook, so no.
    • like if they advertise video games to me cause i was chatting about video games with someone? or drug test kits for my kids cause i was chatting about having my kids sneak video games to school and joked about them being like drug mules?

      • No, the drug test suggestion for your kids goes to Social Services.

      • by SirSlud ( 67381 )

        I'm pretty sure advertising in the middle of conversations would drive a massive chunk of users away. I really doubt they'd do that. Sounds like they just want to offer in-line prompts like "share location" or "accept invitation" type stuff in the conversations.

        Obviously, anything sufficiently intrusive defeats the purpose of using a messaging app.

        • Exactly, it isn't advertising. It's making suggestions on things you can do with the app. For example, my sister messaged me "meet Friday at 8 PM" and Messenger added a chat bubble underneath offering to set a reminder. I didn't know the thing could set reminders. It's a means to get people using more of the features, and more usage presumably in the end equals more advertising revenue.
          • by rtb61 ( 674572 )

            What is interesting it the foolish choice of langauge, they are making a recommendation 'anything that serves to recommend a person or thing, or induce acceptance or favour.', http://www.dictionary.com/brow... [dictionary.com]. They are recommending a product or service based upon their reputation and no longer broadcaster of advertisements. They are taking on legal liability for the quality of that product or service, as Facebook has now publicly stated it is a recommendation. So Facebook, you recommended a product, I bou

        • I'm pretty sure advertising in the middle of conversations would drive a massive chunk of users away. I really doubt they'd do that.

          Of course, collecting and selling the information gained from those conversations to advertisers, that I'm pretty sure they would (and do) do.

          • Of course, collecting and selling the information gained from those conversations to advertisers, that I'm pretty sure they would (and do) do.

            There is no evidence whatsoever that they have done this. They have stated unequivocally [facebook.com] that they do not sell your data and never will.

            Selling data to advertisers would be stupid, and expose them to consumer backlash and lawsuits. It would make no sense. They make a ton of money by using that data to target ads, so why would they sell it to someone else who could undercut their business? If you were in the milk business, would you sell your cows?

    • Re:not sure (Score:5, Informative)

      by Penguinisto ( 415985 ) on Thursday April 06, 2017 @03:34PM (#54187115) Journal

      It probably isn't.

      I wouldn't know though... I just "Request Desktop Site" if I have a PM on Facebook, and use the mobile Chrome app to read it like I do the rest of Facebook.

      (no, seriously, fuck their apps. I got no use for 'em.)

      • by sabri ( 584428 )

        I just "Request Desktop Site" if I have a PM on Facebook, and use the mobile Chrome app to read it like I do the rest of Facebook.

        My kingdom for modpoints. This works on iPhone as well. I just deleted that stupid messenger app from my phone.

    • Re:not sure (Score:5, Insightful)

      by spire3661 ( 1038968 ) on Thursday April 06, 2017 @03:40PM (#54187161) Journal
      Here is how i explain why these Assistants are bad. They dont work for you, they work for the company that sold it to you. If I ask Amazon Alexa for some Shakespeare, she is going to try and sell me books from Amazon instead of reciting it (for free) from Project Gutenberg.
      • sounds like alexa is as grumpy as i am when people ask me directions on the street

        "google maps, stupid"

      • by SirSlud ( 67381 )

        if I ask google for music, it just plays the music from google music (granted you need to have a subscription) .. it doesn't try and sell you anything. And when I ask it questions, it mostly goes to wikipedia. Hasn't tried upselling anything (yet)

        • by vux984 ( 928602 )

          if I ask google for music, it just plays the music from google music (granted you need to have a subscription)

          So your argument is that it doesn't upsell you for a service you are paying a google a monthly subscription for?

          Got it... so if you already use Bing search and bing maps, and Edge, and Office 365 and Azure and Windows Defender, and Windows 10 Pro, then Cortana doesn't try upselling or converting you to MS services? Sweet.

          wtf

        • it doesn't try and sell you anything.

          Because you already bought and paid for it.

    • by jwhyche ( 6192 )

      Don't know, Don't care. I will not allow facebook messager on my phone and I have disabled facebook.

  • Keyword (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 06, 2017 @03:24PM (#54187043)

    "Suggestions does not currently generate any revenues "

    Key word: currently.

  • Oh man. If that thing starts reading the group chats I'm a part of, I can't wait to see what the recommendations will be. "You should attend some sensitivity training." "You should grow up a little and move out of your mom's basement and stop posting memes." "Having friends like that may land you in jail."
  • by Anonymous Coward
    I'll continue to not use Facebook nor Messenger apps.
  • by Zombie Ryushu ( 803103 ) on Thursday April 06, 2017 @03:31PM (#54187097)

    No, its not, it verifies what I was saying before: Nothing on Facebook is private, use OTR with Pidgin if you must use FaceBook for Chat with someone, or use some other means of chat.

    • If you needed this for verification of Facebook chat not being private, you should probably get a refund for the two defective braincells rattling around in your head. You can see your entire chat history from any device; how do you think that works?

  • by fahrbot-bot ( 874524 ) on Thursday April 06, 2017 @03:35PM (#54187125)

    ... their goal with M Suggestions is to offer a better user experience.

    Stop using Facebook.

    Some folks who already feel like Facebook is watching them when they see ads in their News Feed for bridal gowns after getting engaged may be creeped out by the fact their messages are being analyzed.

    Now M Suggestions can spy on -- I mean "watch" -- I mean "analyze" -- your messages in real-time. Ya, *much* less creepy. /sarcasm

  • I really don't want to buy any more stuff. I just want to go online an catch up on what some of my old friends and classmates are up to.

  • Stan Chudnovsky, Facebook Messenger's Head of Product, contends their goal with M Suggestions is to offer a better user experience. To wit, M Suggestions does not currently generate any revenues for Messenger.

    BS
    Who here is still believe into good intentions of the Internet monopolies?
    We all know know what that means when something is free for users

  • by Tablizer ( 95088 ) on Thursday April 06, 2017 @04:31PM (#54187499) Journal

    Clippy just won't die. When you try to kill a zombie, you just make it zombier.

    Clippy: "Mr. President, it looks like you are trying to blame another politician for your snafu. Would you like some help? I can offer you Conspiracy Generator 3.0 at a discount today..."

    • Clippy just won't die

      Are you kidding? If anything every company is pushing their own version of Clippy now.

      • by Tablizer ( 95088 )

        I meant Clippy & clones, not necessarily MS-branded Clippy. It's kind of like Jacuzzi and Kleenex where the brand becomes a generic word, as in "You Clippified your interface". Maybe Clippy is not quite there yet, though.

  • The summary is written like they weren't already analyzing all your messenger conversations.
    They would have been doing it since they rolled out Facebook Messenger.

  • I can guarantee up front I have no interest in "sending a sticker, paying a friend for something or sharing [my] location" via Facebook. The prompts would just be additional annoyance.

  • I don't get why this is creepy. They already have your data (you're posting it on their site after all!) Its no secret that analyzing data is something that these "information" companies can and pretty much always do.

    I could see being creeped out in 2010 when this kind of shit was new but by this point it should be considered the default position. You should almost be more creeped out if they're NOT doing this kind of shit since it kind of suggests they're probably doing something even more nefarious (no

    • by Nyder ( 754090 )

      I don't get why this is creepy. They already have your data (you're posting it on their site after all!) Its no secret that analyzing data is something that these "information" companies can and pretty much always do.

      I could see being creeped out in 2010 when this kind of shit was new but by this point it should be considered the default position. You should almost be more creeped out if they're NOT doing this kind of shit since it kind of suggests they're probably doing something even more nefarious (not that they couldn't do both of course..)

      Now pissed off that they're going to start injecting ads into your conversations? That's something I can get behind. Or at least I could if I actually used FB.

      It's creepy because people have an expectation of privacy. Like when you call someone on the phone, you expect it to be between you and that person. You know the computer takes care of everything, so no reason why anyone should be listening or recording it. These same people think they should be getting the same sort of privacy with messenger apps.

      Of course, any one paying attention to the last decade knows that all our shit is being recorded, for some reason or the other. No matter what you wanted

      • by Altrag ( 195300 )

        It takes a special kind of person to think that stuff posted on Facebook isn't visible to Facebook. I mean I know there's lots of dumb people out there (and they all voted apparently, just to throw in an offtopic Trump dig) but I'm not sure I believe enough people to be so dumb that a wide consensus would assume that Facebook is somehow magical and doesn't store the data on its site.

        And its not exactly a great step up from that to have read the news basically any time in the past half decade and known that

  • to stay away from Facebook
  • Like telling them where and how much depends are on a daily basis. Ask them how their genital warts are every day for a week. Pretty soon their ads will start to look like a hypochondriacs dream. Sorry to hear that you have the clap. Get everyone in on it.

  • You! Have the choice of viewing the offered item or not.
  • I just love Judi Dench, she's such an awesome actor. I was really sad to see her leave the James Bond movies. :-(

    Actually three things came to mind here:
    * Judi Dench
    * Andrew Scott (batshit-insane Moriarty in the British Sherlock series)
    * Natalie Dormer (totally hot female version of Moriarty in the U.S. Elementary series)

    So far as Facebook goes.. creepy-as-hell. Do not want.
    So glad I don't use Facebook.
  • Thats cute...
  • Simple question, is this an optional feature or is it being forced on users?
    If it's optional, no problems... anyone who's creeped by it can just ignore.
    If it's either opt-out or forced, then the strategy is obvious: to profit from user conversations and sell ads.

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