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Google is reportedly making an AI-powered chat assistant

The search giant could soon have an answer to Facebook's 'M.'

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Hey, Facebook: you might not be the only tech giant with an artificially intelligent chat assistant. The Wall Street Journal's sources understand that Google is building an AI-based messaging service that would search the web to answer your questions. From the description, it sounds like a more elaborate, more conversational Google Now. Third parties may even build their own bots to give you site-specific answers.

Google isn't commenting on the apparent leak, and there's no word on when and where AI messaging would show up. Hangouts sounds like a good candidate, but it's not guaranteed. However, it wouldn't be shocking if this robotic helper shows up soon. Facebook's 'M' is, in some ways, a direct assault on Google's home turf: why search on the web when there's an AI companion willing to lend a hand? In theory, this software would keep you in Google's world even if you spend all your phone time in chats with friends.

[Image credit: Chris Goodney/Bloomberg via Getty Images]

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