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Facebook's M is Part AI, Part Human
By: Jessica Cherok
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Social-media giant Facebook has created a new digital assistant, M. M, which is part of Facebook's Messenger, now joins Apple's Siri and Google's Now as the newest digital assistant vying for your attention.

But M isn't all digital. Part of the reason Facebook is confident M will blow other digital assistance out of the water is because M has humans backing up its abilities. For any question or request that M can't answer on its own, the behind-the-scenes humans will step in. Each time the humans help find an answer, M adds the knowledge to its AI.

M isn't yet available to everyone. Facebook is currently testing it with users in San Francisco. According to Wired, some users testing M were surprised by how well it worked and its ability to perform multi-step tasks. However, the users were unhappy with how long it took for M to respond to their requests.

Users are more impatient than ever, and slow response times could doom M and Facebook's dreams of digital omnipotence. How M and the human backups will be able to keep up with requests from a large number of Facebook's one billion users without significant lag time remains to be seen.

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About the Author
Jessica Cherok is an advocate for online privacy, campaigning for ethical data practices and the protection of personal privacy.
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