Facebook Launches "M," The Hybrid Virtual Assistant; Part Human, Part Artificial Intelligence.She does what you would expect a virtual assistant to do - she books meetings, makes hotel reservations, suggests gifts for family and the like.

This interests me as I have been a huge supporter of Amy, the fully AI powered virtual assistant from X.ai.

Both M and Amy build on the earlier pioneering work of Apple’s Siri. The difference with Amy and Siri and Cortana is that Amy is capable of parsing more complex language within a specific area than Siri or Cortana are capable of. This is clearly critical if she is responsible for booking meetings with multiple people and locations and additional complications. The complexity arises if you had to create AI to do this in more than one type of task so Amy is confined to planning and booking meetings. In fact, when I first discovered Amy I did not realise she was not human. The only trigger came when I came into contact with her being the very efficient assistant for multiple companies and looked her up on Linkedin. She does have her own Linkedin profile also. Amy is very clever at what she does and despite attempts to catch her out, for example, asking her to remind someone to bring something to a meeting that you are already in, she continues to impress by telling you to ask them themselves since you are with them currently.

I assume this complexity of language processing in current AI based approaches and the reason Amy has been restricted to one role, is the reason that Facebook have combined AI and humans into the role of M.

However, the work in this area is ongoing and I assume it is only a matter of time before we begin to get far more impressive results with complex linguistic parsing comprehension within AI and start to see a whole host of new applications such as fully AI powered versions of M.