Facebook contractors are helping train a computer to do their jobs

Robots aren’t smart enough to do our jobs. Unless, of course, we teach them how. In August Facebook launched “M,” a virtual assistant built in to its Messenger app. It’s like Siri, but with a fleshy twist: Actual humans oversee M’s responses and add extra information, even making phone calls and doing extra research, to make sure the answer is personalized and on target. But these human overseers are not likely to be in control forever: Facebook plans to use their decisions to help M make better choices of its own. This is the artificial-intelligence equivalent of training a younger, cheaper, faster replacement to do your job. M is only available to a few hundred users in San Francisco, so there hasn’t been much information on what this cyborg is…


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