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IPFS News Link • Robots and Artificial Intelligence

Hands-on with Facebook M: the virtual assistant with a (real) human touch


There's something eerie about realizing you live in a time people once considered a sci-fi fantasy. In Spike Jonze's Her, Joaquin Phoenix's character uses an artificial intelligence-powered operating system voiced by Scarlett Johansson. He can ask her to oversee his calendar, play music to match his mood, and essentially manage his life. Of course, he eventually falls in love with her (it?).

Facebook M, the social network's text-based virtual assistant, is only in its infancy, but I couldn't help feeling like Her's Theodore Twombly when I had it order me a sausage breakfast burrito. I didn't even have to open a new browser tab, but I did have to go pick it up down the street — Amazon is trying to solve that problem via drones, I'm told. But it was still a good example of how of Facebook, through a natural evolution of its software, has begun intertwining with our basic wants and needs.