May 21, 2019 | Updated: 09:45 AM EDT

Facebook M: Your Personal Digital Assistant With A Major Twist

Aug 26, 2015 11:13 PM EDT

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First it was Siri, then there was Cortana. Google has experimented with different names for Google Now, and now, well, “Google Now” stuck. Hardly a sexy name for the voice search and digital assistant app, but that’s what works. For now. And today, the tech world is abuzz with Facebook’s latest addition to its app portfolio: Facebook M.

Facebook M, as you can probably infer by now, is yet another digital or virtual assistant. But where Google Now, Cortana, or even Siri end, M, will be able to go. Because M will not just be another AI digital assistant. M will be “trained” by humans.

It’s the stuff of sci-fi fiction, but it’s technology of the future.

For first-time requests that M has yet to “understand” how to complete, Facebook M’s team will field the queries, and program M how to handle those in the future. This makes M more than a formidable competitor to Siri, Cortana and Google Now: This makes M capable of trouncing all of them, when it fully launches.

The testing began Wednesday, US time, and the beta has been rolled out to a select group of users. M “lives” within Messenger, and will be able to not just remind you of your loved ones’ birthdays, but M will be able to buy the presents, too. It may even be able to arrange your holidays, and send flowers to your significant other. It is not just an information-spouting app within an app; it will be your almost-human assistant.

If you thought that “M” reminds you of something James Bond-ish, it is. The Daily Mail notes that “M” was inspired by James Bond’s boss, “Moneypenny.” And indeed, maybe Facebook’s “M” just might be the game-changer and James Bond-level bleeding edge innovation that the digital assistant field needs.

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