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Zuckerberg’s home assistant ‘Jarvis’

IANS | New York |

Inspired by Iron Man's artificial assistant (AI) "Jarvis" and his capabilities, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has coded and developed his own "Jarvis" to run his home.

In a blog post, Zuckerberg said that his personal challenge for 2016 was to build a simple AI to run his home — like Jarvis in "Iron Man". 

"My goal was to learn about the state of artificial intelligence — where we are further along than people realise and where we are still a long ways off," he wrote in the post on Monday.

Zuckerberg built a simple AI that he can talk to on his phone and computer, can control his home, including lights, temperature, appliances, music and security, that learned his tastes and can even entertain his daughter Max. 

The system he developed uses several artificial intelligence techniques, including natural language processing, speech recognition, face recognition and reinforcement learning, written in Python, PHP and Objective C.

Also, Zuckerberg wrote code to connect systems, such as for light and music in his home, which all speak different languages and protocols.

"I had to reverse engineer APIs for some of these to even get to the point where I could issue a command from my computer to turn the lights on or get a song to play," Zuckerberg said.

The Facebook CEO realised that for assistants like "Jarvis" to be able to control everything in homes for more people, the devices must be connected for which common APIs and standards for the devices to talk to each other must be developed.

Zuckerberg also faced a challenge in teaching his AI contextual understanding. 

"Understanding context is important for any AI. For example, when I tell it to turn the AC up in "my office", that means something completely different from when Priscilla (Zuckerberg's wife) tells it the exact same thing. That one caused some issues!" he posted.

"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," he added.

Zuckerberg also worked on vision and face recognition, programmed Jarvis on his computer and wrote for code for voice and speech recognition.

He said he would continue to improve Jarvis since he uses it every day.

"In the near term, the clearest next steps are building an Android app, setting up Jarvis voice terminals in more rooms around my home and connecting more appliances," Zuckerberg said.