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Facebook CEO builds AI butler for his home

Facebook's new home AI system goes by the name 'Jarvis.'

By Hannah Williams

Facebook founder and CEO, Mark Zuckerberg has unveiled a new artificial intelligence system which has been made to control things around his home.

The artificial intelligence system, Jarvis, named after the virtual assistant in Iron Man, is able to choose and play music, control lights, communicate with Zuckerberg via phone and computer and other activities around the home.

Almost a year ago, the Facebook CEO announced his plan to build an AI system as one of the personal growth challenges he gives himself each year, and for him, this was a return to his programming roots.

Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook CEOIn a recent post on the update of the process, Zuckerberg wrote: “My goal was to learn about the state of artificial intelligence- where we’re further along than people realise and where we’re still a long ways off. These challenges always lead me to learn more than I expected, and this one also gave me a better sense of all the internal technology Facebook engineers get to use, as well as a thorough overview of home automation.

“It uses several artificial intelligence techniques, including natural language processing, speech recognition, face recognition, and reinforcement learning, written in Python, PHP and Objective C.”

Zuckerberg wrote on the challenges he faced in preparing Jarvis, identifying the different codes that were needed to write to connect all his home devices.

He added: “The more context an AI has, the better it can handle open-ended requests. At this point, I mostly just ask Jarvis to “play me some music” and by looking at my past listening patterns, it mostly nails something I’d want to hear.”

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ZuckerbergThe post identifies the various challenges that arise between the pairing of internet connected devices and the challenges related to speech recognition and machine learning.

In an interview with USA Today, Carolina Milanesi, Creative Strategies analyst said: Zuckerberg is building what many people want, “a digital personal assistant catering to their needs in all kinds of ways from understanding to executing the command. But the technology is not there yet.”

Zuckerberg emphasises his previous prediction in the post, that within five to 10 years, there will be AI systems that are more accurate than people for each of our senses- vision, hearing, touch and thing such as language.

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