Facebook’s New Virtual Assistant

Facebook has begun a soft rollout of ‘M,’ its new virtual assistant that runs in the freestanding Messenger app. According to wired.com, it will not only make restaurant reservations, shop for a birthday present for your sweetie, suggest-then-book a weekend getaway…Facebook claims it will perform tasks Siri, Google Now, and Cortana can’t. That’s because it doesn’t just rely on artificial intelligence…the secret ingredient in Facebook’s M is people.The people Facebook has in place behind the AI interface have customer service backgrounds. You’ll know when you get the new assistant when a new button appears at the bottom of you Facebook Messenger mobile app.

New cars come with a fair amount of connectivity, and a few companies like Automatic, and Zubie sell gadgets that let you turn an older vehicle into a connected one. Now, Forbes.com reports that Verizon is getting into the act with Hum. The communications giant will offer it directly to consumers, and Hum is designed to be installed by the user in their own cars. It has two pieces of hardware…a cellular modem that plugs into the ODB diagnostic port, and a Bluetooth connected speaker that lives on your visor. It should be able to spot issues before they get out of hand, and relay miles per gallon, overall vehicle health, and so on, which will display on a mobile app. Hum also comes with roadside assistance, emergency assistance, parking info, and a vehicle finder. The hardware is $120, and subscription to the service is $15 a month.

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