In Iron Man, Tony Stark (played by Robert Downey Jr) discusses all his needs with virtual assistant Jarvis
In Iron Man, Tony Stark (played by Robert Downey Jr) discusses all his needs with virtual assistant JarvisParamount Pictures

Have you ever wished you could have a virtual personal assistant like Jarvis in Iron Man? Well, a Canadian start-up is trying to make that dream a reality, and is currently seeking your help on Kickstarter.

Ainova Robotics has designed an artificially intelligent virtual personal assistant called Jaesa (Just Another Essentially Smart Application), which at 150MB in size, will be able to run on iOS and Android devices, as well as Windows OS, Windows Phone and Mac OS X.

Just like Jarvis in the Iron Man films, Jaesa is programmed with machine learning to search for information for you and to read it out to you. Sounds like Siri on the iPhone, right?

A real virtual companion

However, Jaesa goes a few steps further. You can command Jaesa to open a computer program or mobile app for you, and even hold a conversation with her about anything you like.

"We really liked the concept of Jarvis in Iron Man and we looked into the existing market but there are only search programs like Siri. We're targeting true artificial intelligence, something that would let you converse with a virtual assistant," Ainova Robotics' chief executive Arseniy Nikulchenko told IBTimes UK.

When you first receive Jaesa out of the box, she will have a default personality, but according to Nikulchenko, who has been working on the project for over two years, her personality will change as you talk to her due to machine learning technology.

"Jaesa uses CRF++ programming library for machine learning, as well as neuro-linguistic programming patterns – a complex approach using psychology and technology that tries to imitate how real people respond to things, finds context in words and adds them to [her] library," he explains.

In March, a group of researchers from the University of Kent and University of Portsmouth announced that they were working on artificially intelligent 3D hologram avatars to take care of the elderly, talk to them and call an ambulance if the person is unwell.

Due to interest from backers on Kickstarter, Nikulchenko says that his company will offer users the option to have Jaesa act like Jarvis in the films, or to have a personal assistant with a virtual body and face you can look at.

Ainova Robotics is also now in talks with CrossWing, a firm that has created an interactive personal robotics ecosystem called virtualMe, to possibly provide the personal assistant technology for medical purposes.

Remotely controlling appliances

Jaesa, a real artificially intelligent virtual assistant that can see to your needs like Jarvis in Iron Man
Jaesa, a real artificially intelligent virtual assistant that can see to your needs like Jarvis in Iron ManAinova Robotics

In addition to developing the Jaesa system, Ainova Robotics is also working on a system called Smart Home.

The company is designing a special chip that can allow you to upgrade any appliance in your house, from a home entertainment centre to a fridge, so that you can control what the appliances do remotely with Jaesa.

Of course, you can already do this by buying a smart appliance, but this would enable you to upgrade almost anything, which could be very cool.

Some of Jaesa's capabilities will be hosted in the cloud, such as data-search functions, but the virtual assistant will also work offline.

The company plans to host as little sensitive user data as it can, and anything that has to be stored in the cloud will be secured using hexadecimal encryption, particularly the MD5 message-digest algorithm.

The Jaesa Kickstarter campaign has been live for seven days and already has 348 backers who have pledged CAD$11,020 (£6,046, $10,283).

The company hopes to raise at least CAD$30,000 to be able to release Jaesa in December 2014.