We’ve all seen the Iron Man movies by now and wished we had an AI assistant like J.A.R.V.I.S. to carry out our bidding. Though platforms like Siri, Google Now, and Microsoft’s Cortana exist, they are a far cry from the AI seen in those movies.
That’s why it was easy to scoff at Mark Zuckerberg — yes that Zuckerberg — when he announced his personal goal to create an AI for his smart home just like J.A.R.V.I.S. There’s no way he can pull it off, right? At least not with modern technology.
It turns out he’s done it, and he’s almost ready to show it off.
“I hope to have a demo [soon], hopefully, next month,” says Zuck. He talked about his AI creation during the Facebook Town Hall Q&A in Rome last week.
That’s nice, but what could it possibly do?
What’s the Deal With Smart Homes?
Before we dive into Zuckerberg’s new AI specifically, it makes sense to explore modern smart homes outside of Facebook.
What kind of technology is currently available? What can a smart home do exactly, and just how “smart” are they?
The answer is that modern homes can be pretty dang smart and capable, provided they employ the right systems. Having your home be a “smart house” is advantageous because there are features like cost savings, convenience and beefed up security.
Technology like automated lighting, smart thermostats, and cost-efficient appliances can help you save a lot of money. Smart home security systems, on the other hand, can keep you safe.
Did you know in 2010, there were an estimated 2.2 million break-ins, 60.5% of which involved a forced entry?
The best part about smart home security systems is that you don’t need to pay for a subscription or costly service fee. The technology is plenty capable of keeping your home safe, too, recording all activities and sending the proper alerts — including to the authorities. The biggest requirement of these systems is Internet access.
Technology truly is an amazing thing.
Mark Zuckerberg’s AI for His Smart Home
According to Zuckerberg, his AI is capable of doing “some pretty fun things” when it comes to controlling his home — such as connected lights and the thermostat. Imagine a fully autonomous Nest system, and you’ll get it.
The AI was created by Zuckerberg with help from several Facebook engineers. It relies on face recognition software and voice commands, kind of like how Tony Stark orders J.A.R.V.I.S. around, at least until his AI becomes Vision, anyway.
Real world examples of what the AI can do include opening the front gate to the home when Zuck gets there or lowering the AC thermostat to preferred levels before he enters.
The downside — at least for Priscilla Chan, Mark’s wife — is that he’s the only one that can control the AI, for now. “I’ll give [my wife] access once I’m done,” says Zuckerberg. Maybe he plans to program it so it puts the seat down for him?
Is He Going to Share His Creation or What?
Don’t worry, Zuckerberg has made it clear that he’s “looking forward” to showing the AI to the world. Obviously, he’s going to demo it, and maybe he even plans to market the technology considering it was developed with help from Facebook engineers.
Although, it is unclear exactly what he plans to do next. We can only speculate.
Will it just be a personal tool for use in his own home, or will he launch it for use with the Facebook platform? Imagine a capable AI with access to your Facebook profile and the entire social network.
Maybe Zuckerberg and co. are planning to launch an Amazon Echo or Google Home competitor?
It’s entirely possible, especially considering Apple plans to breach that market as well.