Facebook M, Proving That Smart Business Decisions Require Both People and Machines

Brad Shimmin
Brad Shimmin

Summary Bullets:

• A new digital assistant from Facebook seeks differentiation from Apple Siri, Google Now and others through combined human- and AI-informed actions.
• Likewise, IT buyers considering the application of AI within big data projects should invest in people who know both data and the business itself.

Tucked away within the original run of 60s television series Star Trek (the one with Kirk, Spock and crew), there’s a gem of an episode entitled “City on the Edge of Forever,” which was written by noted science fiction author Harlan Ellison. In that episode, the Enterprise stumbles upon a mysterious, powerful, perhaps even omnipotent machine of sorts called The Guardian of Forever. When Kirk innocently asks his colleagues what it is, the mysterious, mechanistic entity that has the power (as we later discover) to reveal earth’s living past replies:

“A question! Since before your sun burned hot in space and before your race was born, I have awaited a question.”

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