Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg released a new "fun" video on Tuesday demonstrating his own artificial intelligence (AI) butler named Jarvis, voiced by iconic actor Morgan Freeman. Having worked on the simple AI system over the past year, Zuckerberg said he was inspired by Jarvis, the virtual assistant built by Tony Stark in Marvel's Iron Man.
On Monday, Zuckerberg shared the details behind his year-long effort to write code and create his own AI system in his spare time to run his household. He said he spent about 100 hours building Jarvis and wanted it to learn his "tastes and patterns."
"My goal was to learn about the state of artificial intelligence - where we're further along than people realise and where we're still a long ways off," Zuckerberg wrote in a post."These challenges always lead me to learn more than I expected, and this one also gave me a better sense of all the internal technology Facebook engineers get to use, as well as a thorough overview of home automation."
Zuckerberg said the challenge proved to be easier than expected in some ways. However, "one aspect that was much more complicated than I expected was simply connecting and communicating with all of the different systems in my home," he admits.
Zuckerberg said he wanted to use Jarvis to control his home including the temperature, lights and music.
The video, posted on Zuckerberg's Facebook account, shows a day in the life of Zuckerberg and his family using the virtual butler for everything from waking him up in the morning and entertaining his daughter Max to answering the front gate by recognizing visitors' faces. The two-minute video also shows Jarvis giving Zuckerberg briefings about his schedule, making toast, speaking to Max in Mandarin, controlling the lights and playing music.
When Zuckerberg asks Jarvis to "play us some good Nickleback songs," Freeman's voice refuses.
"I'm sorry, Mark. I'm afraid I can't do that," Freeman's voice responds. "There are no good Nickleback songs."
Zuckerberg said the video is meant to be "a fun summary" rather than a live demo of Jarvis.
Zuckerberg's wife Priscilla Chan also posted a video showing her experiences with Jarvis as well, saying it was "a little different." In this video, Zuckerberg and Chan show they also tried out other voices for Jarvis including that of Terminator star Arnold Schwarzenegger that tells her, "Get to the car."
"Too aggressive?" Schwarzenegger wrote in the comments. Zuckerberg responded, "Just the right amount of aggressive."
In October, Zuckerberg said he was looking for a voice for his own personal smart home assistant that he first announced back in January. Iron Man actor Robert Downey Jr. nominated himself saying he would "do it in a heartbeat if [voice actor Paul] Bettany gets paid and donates it to a cause of [Benedict] Cumberbatch's choosing... that's the right kind of STRANGE."
However, the "overwhelming choice" of Morgan Freeman by the public prompted the social media executive to contact the actor after the Breaththrough Awards earlier in December. Zuckerberg told Fast Company that he called Freeman after the event with the request to which he responded, "Yeah, sure." Zuckerberg did not mention if Freeman was paid to participate.
"Morgan is absolutely brilliant," Zuckerberg wrote in the comments.
Over the past year, Zuckerberg said he created a Facebook Messenger chat bot that lets him communicate with Jarvis through text messages. He also built an iOS app and plans to create an Android version soon.
"Although this challenge is ending, I'm sure I'll continue improving Jarvis since I use it every day and I'm always finding new things I want to add," Zuckerberg said.