The name is M.
Facebook rolled out a brand-new feature Wednesday that may give Apple’s Siri a run for her money. M is a virtual personal assistant for which no task is too big, too small or too specific. M is able to complete intricate requests—such as planning a dinner party or vacation—through its cross-use of Artificial Intelligence and real-life representatives. AI completes the tasks that a computer can easily achieve, Facebook employees who train the M service carry out the more complicated duties. The service is still in its trial-run phase, only a few hundred in the Bay area have access to the genderless program, but Vice President of Messaging Products at Facebook, David Marcus, is confident that M will reach all 700 million Facebook users in due time.
Users will have the option to start a dialog with M by simply sending a message to the service in the same way they’d send a message to a friend on Facebook on a computer or in the Facebook messenger mobile app. Wired reports that although Google has the desktop-search game wrapped around its digital finger, M aspires to and could feasibly become the go-to mobile search option. And although planning lavish dinners and trips isn’t exactly a pressing issue every Facebook user has, M developers are working to make sure that the service would be able to accommodate all needs. One of highest requests made during M’s test period was something all internet user would be interest in: people have been asking M to call their cable providers to set up their wifi, leaving AI (or a poor M employee) to endure the torturous hold times. That’s something we could get behind.