Facebook M: Where Artificial Intelligence meets Real Intelligence

Today, Facebook (FB Analyst Report) announced that it will be testing out a virtual assistant program it is working on.  The assistant, known as “M” can do many things, from ordering gifts to making restaurant reservations.
Apple (AAPL Analyst Report) has Siri, Google (GOOGL Analyst Report) has Google Now, and Microsoft (MSFT Analyst Report) has Cortana.  These virtual assistant programs set the standards which Facebook will have to live up to. 
Those virtual assistants are useful, but actually have limitations with what they are actually able to accomplish.  Facebook seeks to outdo its competition by using actual people to facilitate the “M” program’s artificial intelligence. 
Dozens of “M” trainers have customer service backgrounds and are working to make sure that the program is able to do much more than the average virtual assistant (Siri, Google Now, and Cortana), which solely run on artificial intelligence.  They will do this by training and supervising the program.  Doing this allows the user to ask questions in an informal manner and chat as though they were speaking to a person.   
By combining the capabilities of actual people and AI technology, M is able to accomplish tasks which no other virtual assistant can.  It can even call your cable company, stay on hold for you, and cancel your service with real-life trainers to talk to customer service.  M will be available on the Messenger app for Facebook, and is currently only available to a few hundred people in the Bay area of San Francisco.
Bottom Line:
Having the power of humans and AI at your fingertips is intriguing.  However, one must wonder just how effective the program can be if launched for the massive 700 million people user base for the Messenger app.  There is currently no timetable on when the program will be available.  Facebook (FB Analyst Report) is a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) and reports its earnings on 10/27/15.
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Source: Facebook M: Where Artificial Intelligence meets Real Intelligence

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