Tech

Here’s How Facebook’s Digital Assistant Fares Against Siri, Alexa

By Grace Anilado , Apr 15, 2017 05:16 AM EDT
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Digital assistants are not just a craze. This certain technological innovation is here to stay, as software gets smarter and more capable of helping users. But when talking about voice-enabled command readers, it is always Apple's Siri, Amazon's Alexa and Google's own Assistant that come to mind. Plus, there is the new addition of Samsung's Bixby. However, there is one other entity that has joined the race but is mostly underwhelmed-Facebook's M. But how does it compare to the other stalwarts?

Amazon Alexa is capable of many things. For example, it can do something useful like hail an Uber for the user. For children who like to play around with their guardian's devices, they can have Alexa make farting sounds. It can also answer questions and adjust the thermostat like Siri does. The two digital assistants are being used by millions of users each day around the world. But according to MIT Technology Review, Facebook's M is by far the smartest yet. And is only available to use for about 10,000 people.

How can an AI voice assistant with few users trump Alexa and Siri? Both are able to retrieve information from the cloud and do various tasks. However, what they offer are simple compared to Facebook M. That is because Mark Zuckerberg's developed a digital assistant that can answer to complex instructions. It is able to recommend and reserve a hotel in Morocco that is friendly to little children. It can also book tickets to a theater production and ask for price quotes from local landscaping contractors.

Unfortunately, Facebook M is not yet available outside of the United States. While Siri and Alexa are already serving millions worldwide, M is still gearing for a roll out to 99.99 percent of Messenger's 1.2 billion active users. Nevertheless, Nasdaq writes users from other countries will be able to use M "in the near term."

Although it may be a while yet before millions or even billions of users get to see the power of Facebook's digital assistant, it has already proven itself to be smarter and more reliable. And once it is integrated fully with Messenger, then it can also work together with other features like financial transactions.

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