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Facebook has already joined the likes of Apple, Google and Microsoft in offering users with a digital assistant in a bid to ease interactions with various online platforms.

The introduction of Facebook M has seen lots of tech pundits rank this digital assistant as a better option when compared to its closest rivals. When asked why, many cite the level of artificial intelligence that drives M into doing what the social networking giant says this tool can do.

Well, it seems Facebook is turning to humans in a bid to power its AI products used by over 1.5 billion people all over the world. The company wants these people to teach their machines how they serve this huge user base such that they too can do it without the help of humans.

There are reports that Facebook has hired new experts associated with AI, a field that is also being closely monitored by Apple, Microsoft and Google. However, the head of AI-based Wit.Ai startup that Facebook acquired earlier this year, Alexandre Lebrun, claims that this social media giant is in a unique position, given the vast amount of social information it has already collected from users over its entire period of existence.

Facebook is using AI trainers to teach machines human interactions

As opposed to the use of instructions to guide machines into doing something like most companies are doing with their digital assistants, Facebook has gone for a team of humans that it calls “AI trainers”. These are real humans who work together with machines used to power M in a bid to help these AI-based machines do everything that the users do; for instance, order flowers or even cancel a flight.

Facebook’s expenditure on research and development has increased in the past year to somewhere in the region of $1.3 billion, but there are no details of how the company spends its R&D budget. However, one thing that is for sure is that a huge amount of it goes to funding its long term virtual reality and AI-based developments.

At the moment, Facebook M is being tested in San Francisco Bay area, with an estimated 10,000 people already using the tool. Once the tests are done, the service is expected to spread to other global regions. However, Facebook, definitely knows that M is something for the future and of course, challenges will come from all corners, especially as the tool tries to learn how to deal with multiple languages and cultures.