Facebook’s new virtual assistant ‘M’ isn’t actually a robot — does that take the fun out of it?

A24   Facebook has begun to test its new virtual personal assistant, M, in a small beta beyond its own walls. And the early reports have been ecstatic. Tales have emerged of tickets booked and food ordered. M, we are told, is already amazing at minimizing the pain of certain small tasks.   But when we hear about M it’s important to remember both what it is and also what it’s not. M is a virtual assistant, but it’s not pure artificial intelligence, like Siri. Facebook has cleverly positioned M as part AI, part human. This invites you to let your imagination run wild about the amount of the work being done by robots. But we do know a bit about it. Facebook confirmed to The Verge that humans monitor “every”…


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