Zuckerberg Gets One Step Closer to Jarvis

Mark Zuckerberg says he’s built an artificially intelligent, voice-controlled butler for his home – and named it Jarvis, after superhero Iron Man Tony Stark’s home computer.

The Facebook honcho’s AI personal assistant can turn the house lights on and off, play songs, recognize who’s at the front door and let people in, manage the temperature, activate a toaster – and has even been programmed with a sense of humor.

“I’ve taught it fun little games like [wife] Priscilla or I can ask it who we should tickle and it will randomly tell our family to all go tickle one of us, [daughter] Max or [pet dog] Beast,” Zuckerberg writes in a Facebook post Monday.

“I’ve also had fun adding classic lines like ‘I’m sorry, Priscilla. I’m afraid I can’t do that.'”

Zuckerberg said the project was one of his 2016 challenges.

“In some ways, this challenge was easier than I expected,” he wrote, comparing it to his other goal of running 365 miles in 2016.

He says building Jarvis, which “uses several artificial intelligence techniques, including natural language processing, speech recognition, face recognition, and reinforcement learning, written in Python, PHP and Objective C,” took less time than the running.

But he said one of the biggest takeaways from the project was figuring out the promise and limits of AI.

According to technology website Cnet.com, a lot of what his Jarvis system can do is similar to what the Amazon Echo and Google Home can do.

Facebook, it reports, has two AI groups: Facebook AI Research, or FAIR, which has roughly 75 employees and tries to act as a liaison to the academic community; and Applied Machine Learning, which tries to infuse AI into Facebook’s products.

Zuckerberg has said in the past that a quarter of Facebook’s engineers are working with AI, Cnet reported.

The Facebook CEO says he may just give away the code for Jarvis – someday.

“I considered open sourcing my code, but it’s currently too tightly tied to my own home, appliances and network configuration,” he wrote.

“If I ever build a layer that abstracts more home automation functionality, I may release that. Or, of course, that could be a great foundation to build a new product.”


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