Starting today many bay area facebook users will be able to test Facebook’s new virtual assistant M. M can accomplish many different tasks such as making restaurant reservations, finding a birthday gift, suggesting a book or even planning a weekend getaway. Facebook’s vice president of marketing David Marcus says that it won’t takes long for its users to realize that M is far more than your average virtual assistant and is capable of handling very complex tasks. This is because, unlike Siri, Google Now and Cortana M is a hybrid assistant, while the competitor’s assistants rely solely on technology to get things accomplished, M is controlled by both humans and AI. By using humans along with AI, facebook will ensure that every request is answered. Currently, M is in its very early beta stages so it’s hard to determine how well it lives up to Facebook’s claims but it is a very interesting and unique idea. Although there are other personal assistants that use humans such as Magic and Operator they lack the massive scale of Facebook. Far more people use Facebook and they can afford to hire more real people to work with M and unlike the competitions which have to spend most of their time figuring out ways to monetize their product Facebook doesn’t have to monetize M directly since they have Facebook to provide all their funding.