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Facebook pilots “M,” a Siri-esque personal assistant

Facebook M is being tested so the social network can take over yet another function of your internet life. Are you on board?

m personal assistant Facebook

m personal assistant Facebook

Facebook to become even more ubiquitous?

Technology isn’t making us dumber, but it is facilitating dumber decisions. Thank God we have a marked surplus of artificial intelligence to make up for the discrepancy: Microsoft has Cortana, Apple has Siri, Amazon has Alexa, Androids have Evi — and, recently, Facebook has unveiled M, an app nearly as elegant as its name (get your James Bond licks in while you can, folks). Though these utilities all provide the same basic service, M may have a leg-up on the competition.

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M brings a certain utilitarian flavor to Facebook’s messenger. Chances are, your Facebook friend list is miles longer than your contact list; consider, then, the possibilities for M to autonomously network, schedule, and plan around a person or a group of people. Whereas Siri primarily serves to guide, M completes entire multistep tasks, such as purchasing items or ordering gifts. What better platform on which to perform than the largest social media site on the web?

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Why M is actually viable

Facebook’s recent expansions into dedicated news, video hosting, and general networking makes M all the more viable. The messenger standalone app felt unnecessary and clunky—after all, texting is quicker, more streamlined, and often, more reliable—but M has the potential to turn the once-defunct messenger into a consolidated focal point for appointments, calendar formulation, and other productivity-based work.

Amidst the contained chaos that is Facebook’s available information, M could certainly stand tall. Any AI with that much possible input will function at an unprecedented level. The combination of Facebook’s algorithm changes and tendency to display content tailored to your personal taste also makes it likely that M will notably assist in streamlining your Facebook experience.

Facebook’s vice president of messaging products announced M and hinted at its sophistication—especially its unique AI, which has been “trained and supervised by people” — but at the time of this writing, there is no release date.

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Jack Lloyd has a BA in Creative Writing from Forest Grove's Pacific University; he spends his writing days using his degree to pursue semicolons, freelance writing and editing, oxford commas, and enough coffee to kill a bear. His infatuation with rain is matched only by his dry sense of humor.

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