Mark Zuckerberg working on 'Iron Man'-style digital assistant

Facebook CEO wants to build artificial intelligence system to help manage his home and work

Tags: Artifical intelligenceFacebook Incorporation
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Mark Zuckerberg working on 'Iron Man'-style digital assistant Zuckerberg said that he would be coding the new system for himself (Getty Images)
By  Tom Paye Published  January 4, 2016

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has announced that he will spend 2016 working on an artificial intelligence (AI) system designed to help him manage his home and work.

In a post on Facebook, Zuckerberg said that the new system could be compared to the Jarvis system used by Tony Stark in the Iron Man films. He added that he would be coding the system himself, as a personal challenge for the year. Last January, he announced that his personal challenge for 2015 would be to read two books per month, learn Mandarin, and meet someone new every day.

"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 said.

"I'll teach it to let me know if anything is going on in [Zuckerberg's daughter] Max's room that I need to check on when I'm not with her. On the work side, it'll help me visualize [sic] data in VR to help me build better services and lead my organizations [sic] more effectively."

Zuckerberg said that, every year, his personal challenges would have a theme, and this year's theme is invention.

Certainly, Zuckerberg is no stranger to the grunt work required to build out advanced software systems. Along with the coding work he did during the early days of Facebook, he has worked on the physics of Internet.org, Facebook's project to provide Internet access to underserved areas via solar-powered planes and satellites, and he has involved himself in the development of the Oculus virtual reality system that was acquired by Facebook in 2014.

Additionally, Zuckerberg works on AI development for Facebook's Messenger product. However, he said that the project for his own personal AI system would be challenging in a different way.

"It's a different kind of rewarding to build things yourself, so this year my personal challenge is to do that," he wrote.

"This should be a fun intellectual challenge to code this for myself. I'm looking forward to sharing what I learn over the course of the year."

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