Zuckerberg’s 2016 goal: make Iron Man’s Jarvis a reality

JC Torres - Jan 3, 2016
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Zuckerberg’s 2016 goal: make Iron Man’s Jarvis a reality

At the start of every year, almost everyone makes a commitment to do something or stop doing something in order to make a difference in their lives or those of others. And by "almost everyone", we also mean tech company CEOs. For Mark Zuckerberg, 2016 won't simply be a year for learning a new language or reading more books. He already did those the previous year. This year he's taking on something more ambitious: a smart home AI that is practically Jarvis from Iron Man made flesh. Or digital, in this case.

From Johnny Mnemonic to Minority Report to Iron Man, pop culture is filled with high tech wizardry that fills our imaginations. While exact products like those have not yet existed, at least not in the market, bits and pieces of that pipe dream litter the industry. You have smart digital assistants on phones and, thanks to Microsoft, even on desktops. You've got smart appliances that sometimes speak to one another and sometimes can be controlled by smartphones. Now all that's left is an artificially intelligent butler with a British accent and sometimes snarky attitude to rope them all up together into an integrated smart home of the future.

That is exactly what Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is setting out to do this year. Well, minus perhaps any similarity to Jarvis' voice and personality, though he does mention it as one of the sources of inspiration. The AI would do what you would expect any digital butler to do and then some. Of course, it'll let you control your appliances with your voice. It will even be able to identify your friends' faces and let them in when they ring the bell. And closer to Zuckerberg's heart, it will notify him if the AI, which still has no name, notices something in baby Max's room that needs attention.

Interestingly, Mark also mentions making the AI visualize data in virtual reality for work-related stuff, pretty much like what Tony Stark does with Jarvis in the recent films. Now we know one reason why Facebook acquired Oculus.

Zuckerberg notes that this is pretty much a personal project, one that he intends to do on his own and separate from Facebook. Of course, that doesn't mean the bits and pieces might not end up in Facebook products, like the still mysterious "M" Messenger shopping assistant.

SOURCE: Mark Zuckerberg


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