Jan 8, 2018

Facebook to shut down virtual assistant M

Photo: Jaap Arriens/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Facebook will be sunsetting "M," its text-based and human-assisted virtual assistant it debuted in 2015, according to The Verge. The contract workers who took care of users' requests will be offered other jobs at the company, and automated aspects of the service will live on with the Messenger app.

The big picture: In the last couple of years, Facebook has really pushed to take its Messenger app to the next level with chat bots and experiments like M, but adoption has been slow. M was only ever available to about 2,000 people in California, according to The Verge. Overall, it seems like Facebook concluded it wasn't as efficient or appealing as it had hoped.

Go deeper

Situational awareness

Photo: Brett Carlsen/Getty Images

Catch up on today's biggest news:

  1. Mike Bloomberg offers to release women from 3 NDAs
  2. Wells Fargo to pay $3 billion to settle consumer abuse charges
  3. Bloomberg campaign says Tennessee vandalism "echoes language" from Bernie supporters
  4. Scoop: New White House personnel chief tells Cabinet liaisons to target Never Trumpers
  5. Nearly half of Republicans support pardoning Roger Stone

Wells Fargo agrees to pay $3 billion to settle consumer abuse charges

Clients use an ATM at a Wells Fargo Bank in Los Angeles, Calif. Photo: Ronen Tivony/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Wells Fargo agreed to a pay a combined $3 billion to the Justice Department and the Securities and Exchange Commission on Friday for opening millions of fake customer accounts between 2002 and 2016, the SEC said in a press release.

The big picture: The fine "is among the largest corporate penalties reached during the Trump administration," the Washington Post reports.

Bloomberg offers to release women from 3 nondisclosure agreements

Mike Bloomberg. Photo: Brett Carlsen/Getty Images

Mike Bloomberg said Friday his company will release women identified to have signed three nondisclosure agreements so they can publicly discuss their allegations against him if they wish.

Why it matters, via Axios' Margaret Talev: Bloomberg’s shift in policy toward NDAs comes as he tries to stanch his loss of female support after the Las Vegas debate. It is an effort to separate the total number of harassment and culture complaints at the large company from those directed at him personally. That could reframe the criticism against him, but also protect the company from legal fallout if all past NDAs were placed in jeopardy.