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Mark Zuckerberg is building his own AI assistant that’s like Jarvis from ‘Iron Man’

Published Jan 4th, 2016 8:37AM EST
Mark Zuckerberg Facebook CEO

Mark Zuckerberg has big plans for 2016. In a blog post published over the weekend, the Facebook founder said that his aspirational New Years resolution for 2016 is to completely wire his house with an advanced Artificial Intelligence system similar to Jarvis, the digital butler from Iron Man.

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To get things rolling, Zuckerberg said that he’ll begin by simply exploring what types of AI technologies and systems are currently available on the market. From there, he hopes to teach his AI system to recognize his voice and, in turn, allow him to easily control all aspects of his living environment, from music and lights to temperature.

While that type of setup isn’t anything most people can’t affordably implement today, that’s just the beginning. From there, Zuckerberg wants his AI system to handle all sorts of advanced tasks, including being able to distinguish between friends who show up at his door. Also interesting is Zuckerberg’s desire to incorporate pertinent AI data in VR.

Zuckerberg’s full post reads:

Every year, I take on a personal challenge to learn new things and grow outside my work at Facebook. My challenges in recent years have been to read two books every month, learn Mandarin and meet a new person every day.

My personal challenge for 2016 is to build a simple AI to run my home and help me with my work. You can think of it kind of like Jarvis in Iron Man.

I’m going to start by exploring what technology is already out there. Then I’ll start teaching it to understand my voice to control everything in our home — music, lights, temperature and so on. 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 room that I need to check on when I’m not with her. On the work side, it’ll help me visualize data in VR to help me build better services and lead my organizations more effectively.

Every challenge has a theme, and this year’s theme is invention.

At Facebook I spend a lot of time working with engineers to build new things. Some of the most rewarding work involves getting deep into the details of technical projects. I do this with when we discuss the physics of building solar-powered planes and satellites to beam down internet access. I do this with Oculus when we get into the details of the controllers or the software we’re designing. I do this with Messenger when we discuss our AI to answer any question you have. But it’s a different kind of rewarding to build things yourself, so this year my personal challenge is to do that.

This should be a fun intellectual challenge to code this for myself. I’m looking forward to sharing what I learn over the course of the year.

Coming from anyone else, plans to wire a home with advanced AI would likely elicit a series of yawns. But Zuckerberg, as he himself points out, is the same guy who managed to teach himself Mandarin and even use it to impressive effect during an appearance in Beijing last year.

Yoni Heisler Contributor

Yoni Heisler has been writing about Apple and the tech industry at large for over 15 years. A life long Mac user and Apple expert, his writing has appeared in Edible Apple, Network World, MacLife, Macworld UK, and TUAW. When not analyzing the latest happenings with Apple, Yoni enjoys catching Improv shows in Chicago, playing soccer, and cultivating new TV show addictions.