Facebook Launches “M,” The Hybrid Virtual Assistant; Part Human, Part Artificial Intelligence

Facebook M is not powered by artificial intelligence alone. It is actually co-powered by people – real humans, with vast ideas, suggestions, feelings, experiences. That’s the main factor why the social media giant is confident that “Facebook M” is one step ahead of its counterparts like Siri, Cortana or Google Now.

(Photo : Dan Kitwood | Getty Images News) “Facebook M” is the hottest new “hybrid” virtual assistant in town.

Popular social media site, Facebook, has added another member to its cyber-family in the form of “Facebook M”.  Pegged to be the counterparts of Microsoft’s Cortana and Apple’s Siri, Faceboom M serves mainly as a personal virtual assistant.

According to Wired, “Facebook M” was initially launched for the Bay Area Facebook users.  Upon opening the Facebook Messenger, users will be able to notice the new virtual assistant.

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So, what can “Facebook M” do? Reports say that it can suggest gifts for friends or family, recommend places to eat or travel, and basically book and buy items, hotel reservations and travel tickets, to name a few.

According to David Marcus, previous CEO of Paypal and current Vice President of Facebook Messaging, “Facebook M” has so much more to offer than its counterparts, and works beyond what is expected from a standard digital assistant.

“It can perform tasks that none of the others can,” Marcus said. 

Facebook M is not purely digital or powered by artificial intelligence alone.  It is actually powered by people – real humans, with vast ideas, suggestions, feelings, experiences.  That’s the main factor why the social media giant is confident that “Facebook M” is one step ahead of its counterparts like Siri, Cortana or Google Now.

For users who want to try out “Facebook M”, a simple tap of the button at the bottom of Facebook Messenger will start a conversation with “M”.  The software will automatically determine the language used, and once language is established, “M” will then breeze through the user’s questions and/or requests and will even send updates once the tasks are completed.

As for privacy concerns, Marcus clarifies that all the suggestions given out by “Facebook M” are not from the user’s account information but instead, the virtual assistant generally relies on the user’s answers to specific questions or from previous “M” conversations. However, he also said that this set-up might soon change, but of course, with consent from the Facebook users.

As of now, “Facebook M” is still on the trial stage, which means it is only available to selected areas, but with its resonating successes in the experimental stage, the service will surely be made available to Facebook users around the world soon. 

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Source: Facebook Launches “M,” The Hybrid Virtual Assistant; Part Human, Part Artificial Intelligence

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