At first glance, the news of the Facebook Messenger assistant M being able to translate French could be a little underwhelming. French translation isn’t a feature that most users are crying out for. But what makes this announcement a little more interesting is how this translation functionality is being used, which is primarily to assist transactions in Facebook’s Marketplace. This latest news is more to do with the expansion to Messenger.
If we look at this on a small scale, it simply means that the barrier to communicating with someone in another part of the world, is reduced. But cycle this process forward 10 years or so, and you have a platform that could instantly translate any language. This is Facebook pushing toward producing the much sought-after Babel Fish.
Predictive AI will be a crucial feature for all tech giants to master. It’s less a race to the finish line and more a marathon with a number of milestones. This news shows that Facebook is still concerned with connecting people and ensuring there are reasons why people spend time on its platform. Great news if you’re in the business of social media.