Mark Zuckerberg, co-founder and boss of Facebook, plans to build an AI (artificial intelligence) butler, like Jarvis, the personal assistant of Iron Man. Mr. Zuckerberg, who likes to take on one major personal challenge each year, says his robot butler will be his project for 2016.
J.A.R.V.I.S stands for Just A Rather Very Intelligent System.
He says his personal challenges are aimed at helping him learn new things and work outside his work at Facebook. In recent years, personal goals have led him to learn Mandarin, meet a new person every day, and read two books per month.
In the Marvel Comics, Jarvis is the superhero’s ultra-loyal butler. In the Iron Man movies, J.A.R.V.I.S. is the name of billionaire Tony Stark’s AI system that helps him do superhero things. (Image: screencrush.com)
According to Mr. Zuckerberg, his personal butler will be a ‘simple’ AI robot who will run his home and help him in his work. However, getting a machine to run your home and help out in the office does not sound ‘simple’.
He’ll start off with existing technology
On his Facebook page, he wrote:
“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.”
He will also teach it to tell him whenever something happens in Max’s (his daughter’s) room that he should check on when he is not with her.
At work, his personal Jarvis will help him visualize data in VR (virtual reality), so that he can build better services and lead his company more effectively.
This year’s theme – ‘Invention’
Every challenge has a theme, Mr. Zuckerberg explained. The theme for 2016 is ‘Invention’.
At Facebook, he spends much of his time working with engineers who are building new things.
Mr. Zuckerberg said:
“Some of the most rewarding work involves getting deep into the details of technical projects. I do this with Internet.org when we discuss the physics of building solar-powered planes and satellites to beam down internet access.”
Many scientists believe that by the end of this century there will be intelligent robots with several possible functions, e.g. butlers, companions, carers (US: caregivers), and general workers.
“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.”
He plans to build the AI code himself, and says he looks forward to sharing his experience with us throughout the year.
Video – Artificial Intelligence
Robots like J.A.R.V.I.S. are ‘intelligent’ thanks to AI. AI or Artificial Intelligence refers to software that makes robots, computers, and other electronic devices ‘smart.’ In other words, they become more like us (humans), as far as thinking and behavior are concerned.