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Facebook testing 'Moneypenny' human-powered digital assistant

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Facebook is reportedly developing its own Siri-rivalling personal assistant tool under the code-name "Moneypenny."

Moneypenny, of course, is the name of James Bond's helpful assistant, which gives a hint as to the purpose of the new app. And no, it's not for flirting with.

The new piece of software is currently being tested internally at Facebook, and will apparently operate within the company's Messenger app. While Moneypenny is being likened to Siri, however, there'll be one major twist.

According to The Information, Moneypenny will be human-powered. Rather than the virtual assistant algorithms of Siri and Microsoft's Cortana, Moneypenny will connect users to "real people" for assistance with "researching and ordering products and services, among other tasks."

What those "other tasks" are is open to speculation. There aren't any real details on how this Facebook service will operate, or even when it's likely to be ready.

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It's interesting that Facebook isn't joining Apple, Google, and Microsoft in creating its own virtual assistant. It isn't at all surprising that the company is looking to implement it into Messenger, however.

The social networking giant has been making a concerted effort to fill out its messaging service with new features of late. Facebook Messenger has gained video calling, money sending, and location sharing abilities, among other things.

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