Many people live very busy lives these days. From work, to taking care of a family, to hanging out with friends, to perusing hobbies, many people just find that the day seems to have less and less time in it. Wouldn’t it be nice to just hire someone to help with a lot of the mundane tasks people do on a daily basis? Better yet, build someone who would manage your home and life so you could pursue other endeavors? Well, Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg says his goal for 2016 is to create his very own personal virtual artificially intelligent assistant.
The Facebook giant posted on Sunday January 3rd 2016, “my personal challenge for 2016 is to build a simple AI to run my home and help me with my work.” Zuckerberg also went on to say that he will not use the engineers he has working at his company, but rather will build the artificial intelligence (AI) himself. He said that every challenge he places on himself and undertakes has a theme. The theme for this year’s challenge is invention.
Mr. Zuckerberg explained by saying, “you can think of it kind of like Jarvis in Iron Man.” For those that may not know, Jarvis is a fictional character in the comic book ‘Iron Man’. He was created by Tony Stark (Iron Man) and helps Tony run his life, build inventions, protect Tony’s home, and to a certain degree, help Tony with his business. Mark Zuckerberg is seeking to do the same. Mr. Zuckerberg says his plans are to use the artificial intelligence technology that already exists in creating his personal virtual artificially intelligent assistant.
He plans to use the AI to control everything from the music to the internal temperature of his house. Mark Zuckerberg and his wife, Pricilla Chan, gave birth to their first child, Max Chan Zuckerberg, last November. Because of this, Mr. Zuckerberg plans to implement some security features in his new artificial assistant.
Mark posted, “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 a professional level Mark hopes that his new artificial assistant will help him conceptualize information in VR (virtual reality). This will in turn help him to develop and build improved services, thus helping him lead his company much more efficiently and effectively.
The Facebook mogul is known for his rather grandiose and ambitions New Year’s resolutions. And, despite the boldness of his resolutions, he does have a great track record of success. Mr. Zuckerberg quite recently gave a 20 minute speech in Mandarin, a rather difficult to learn language that he resolved to learn at the start of the year 2010.
Last year, 2015, he said that he would read a different book every two weeks. On his “A Year Of Books” feed, he reported that he completed 23 books. The topics ranged from world religions to energy production. Thus, completing challenging goals is obviously nothing new to the Facebook CEO.
Mark has some experience building and creating artificial intelligence machines like the auto-responder for help chat on Messenger. He also says that he spends a good amount of time with various engineers building new things. For example, Zuckerberg has reported that he has discussed with engineers, “the physics of building solar-powered planes and satellites to beam down internet access.”
Facebook purchased a company heavy into virtual reality by the name of Oculus a few years ago for around two billion dollars. Oculus, at the time, was a relatively unknown company. The rather bold move to purchase the company for one billion dollars was seen by many in the tech community as hasty and over-priced.
However, Mark has always been about innovation, which is one of the reasons he created Facebook. The company (Oculus) is producing a virtual reality system called the Oculus Rift, which Mark Zuckerberg has been involved in. Mark intends to take the knowledge he has learned from them and others, to create his own virtual, artificially intelligent assistant. On his post he said, “it’s is a different kind of rewarding to build things yourself.”
Most people resolve to lose a few pounds or get better organized as the New Year roles around, but not Mark Zuckerberg. The challenge he is taking on is very difficult on so many levels. Yet, this challenge, may one day be something that the public at large uses in their daily lives as commonly as Facebook is used today. But, for right now, Marks artificial intelligent assistant will be something that he uses to make life a little easier for him and his family. And, if his past is any indication, he will succeed at that as well.