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Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg wants to build AI butler like in 'Iron Man'

The Facebook founder has revealed his new personal challenge for 2016. He says he wants an artificially intelligent butler reminiscent of Jarvis in the film "Iron Man" to run his house and help him with his work.

"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."

Zuckerberg said that his theme for 2016 was invention and that he wanted to build an artificially intelligent (AI) assistant. "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," he said.

Edwin Jarvis (an abbreviation for Just a Rather Very Intelligent System) is an artificially intelligent butler who assists Tony Stark (played by Robert Downey Jr.) in Marvel Comics' movie series "Iron Man" (pictured above).

Mark Zuckerberg macht Tochter zum Mini-Jedi

Zuckerberg: a fun challenge for 2016

Zuckerberg's idea is to start exploring existing technology and to then teach it to understand his voice. This could be used to control music, lights and temperature at his home. "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," Zuckerberg said, referring to his newborn daughter.

The billionaire founder of Facebook also spoke about innovative projects in his company and that "getting deep into the details of technical projects" was most rewarding for him. "I do this with Internet.org 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," Zuckerberg wrote.

The idea was widely discussed on Twitter. This user loved the prospect of having an AI assistant in the future.

Others had their misgivings. One user, @aral, responded to the news of Zuckerburg's plans by tweeting: "Artificial Intelligence isn't scary, artificial intelligence owned and controlled by Facebook is scary."

But for Zuckerberg, building things was rewarding in a different sense. Concluding his note, he said, "This should be a fun intellectual challenge."

mg/se (Reuters)

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