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Zuckerberg to build a personal AI for help at home and work

Mon 4 Jan 2016

Jarvis Iron Man

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is reportedly planning on building his own personal artificial intelligence (AI) assistant, recreating a system similar to that of the Jarvis butler featured in the Marvel comic books and Iron Man franchise.

In a post on the social network, Zuckerberg commented that as a personal challenge for 2016 he would construct a ‘simple AI’ to assist him at home and at work, and share his progress on the site over the course of the year.

The Facebook founder said that he would use existing technology to build his AI, before teaching it to understand his voice to be able to control home appliances, such as a music system, lighting and air conditioning.

‘This should be a fun intellectual challenge to code this for myself,’ he wrote today.

‘I’ll teach it to let friends in by looking at their faces when they ring the doorbell […] ‘I’ll teach it to let me know if anything is going on in Max’s [his new-born daughter’s] room that I need to check on when I’m not with her,’ he added.

Professionally, Zuckerberg suggested that the smart AI technology would allow him to visually track Facebook data in virtual reality, helping him direct the company and build improved services for users.

Facebook is currently researching several AI projects, including an assistant for users of its Messenger app, under its Facebook AI Research (FAIR) unit. The team has also recently announced that an image recognition tool developed from AI technology can describe images to the blind. Zuckerberg said that the development is in line with Facebook’s larger aim of expanding social media access – “We see AI as helping computers better understand the world — so they can be more helpful to people.”

The Facebook chief commits to a new personal challenge every year. Previous resolutions have included learning Mandarin, reading two books per month and meeting someone new every day.

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