Mei Starts Offering Texting Advice

From the start, users have asked us to give texting advice. We’ve been focused on building diagnostic tools first because frankly, it’s hard to give good advice. 

It’s tough enough for people to give other people texting and relationship advice because everyone’s different and may want different things. It’s even harder for a machine which has limited data and lacks so many abilities that make us human.  But with our latest release, Mei, our relationship assistant, will start offering her first set of texting advice based on perceived personality differences. 

Our unique personalities and ways we express ourselves can often lead to miscommunication and misinterpretation. Mei will now consider what she detects as differences between the user’s and contact’s personalities and provide initial suggestions on how to bridge the gap in communication. If she perceives a contact as very spontaneous and the user more organized, she will tell the user it’s okay to play things by ear. Or if she senses the user as much more cautious of others, she’ll suggest opening up to a contact who is trusting. 

This advice is meant to help users recognize where they may be most different from the people they chat with — so they can try harder to find common ground. We hope intelligence like this will nurture empathy from within our users, which is important in effective communication. Because the advice comes from our AI, there’s no fear of judgment by a person.

We know that good advice also requires understanding a person’s objectives. In this initial rollout, we assume users want to behave more similarly to the person they’re talking to. In the future, we’ll work on incorporating what users may want out of their relationships. 

As with all our assistant/AI-powered features, we won’t always be right. When we’re wrong, we hope users will give us honest feedback, which will help us get better over time.