Facebook Tests M, a Siri-Like Virtual Assistant

Aug 27, 2015

On Wednesday Facebook revealed it is testing out a virtual assistant. A few hundred people in the San Francisco-area who use the Facebook Messenger app are testing out the assistant, known only as M. Like Siri or Cortana, M can perform tasks--at least in theory--for users.

David Marcus, VP of messaging products, wrote in a post on his Facebook page that "It's powered by artificial intelligence that's trained and supervised by people." He also pointed out that this is still early days for a product that would need to scale rapidly to compete with the likes of Siri or Google Now which are built into Apple and Android devices.

Of course, users of the existing virtual assistants may be skeptical, understanding just how far short many of these apps fall of expectation. Anyone who has ever gotten into an argument with Siri knows that building a virtual assistant that actually makes lives easier isn't always as easy as it seems.