Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg gave users a unique look into his home, as part of an explanation of his custom-made artificially intelligent assistant.
Building on Facebook’s internal technology for Messenger app building, Zuckerberg made an iPhone app, Jarvis, to connect the smart devices and phones around his home, similar to Amazon’s Echo. In explaining his progress in the app, Zuckerberg somewhat jokingly revealed some of the quirks of his lifestyle with his wife, Priscilla Chan.
For instance, Jarvis wakes Zuckerberg’s daughter, Max, up to a Mandarin lesson, thanks to Facebook’s visual face detection which determines when the infant is awake. This same technology helps Zuckerberg recognize who’s ringing his doorbell, he said.
We also know Zuckerberg has a pretty extensive set of Spotify playlists and someone in the family may be an Adele fan.
Zuckerberg also showed an interface to request a clean gray T-shirt — his signature look — from what he called a rigged-up ” T-shirt cannon.” He has also ginned up a special 1950’s-era toaster “that will let you push the bread down while it’s powered off so you can automatically start toasting when the power goes on.”
Creating the assistant was one of Zuckerberg’s yearly resolutions, which have also included running a mile a day, reading a new book every other week and learning Chinese.
This year’s challenge was aimed to help him learn how powerful AI can be with 100 hours of work, he wrote. For instance, Zuckerberg said that he realized texting Jarvis — especially if he was away from his home or in the middle of a task — was often more valuable than voice commands alone. That, Zuckerberg said, falls in line with trends he’s seen on Messenger and WhatsApp, where texting is growing more quickly than voice calls.
However, Zuckerberg said, with the voice bot, he learned to consider it a presence that responded more quickly and empathetically.
“It can interact with Max and I want those interactions to be entertaining for her, but part of it is that it now feels like it’s present with us,” Zuckerberg wrote. “I’ve taught it fun little games like Priscilla or I can ask it who we should tickle and it will randomly tell our family to all go tickle one of us, Max or Beast. I’ve also had fun adding classic lines like ‘I’m sorry, Priscilla. I’m afraid I can’t do that.'”
Zuckerberg said he found little bugs that showed how far AI systems are from being generalized for a wide variety of requests.