Mark Zuckerberg announces plan to build robot PA to help around the home

Mark Zuckerberg has announced plans to build an artificially intelligent assistant modelled on an Iron Man character to help around the home.
Mark Zuckerberg announces plan to build robot PA to help around the home

The Facebook founder said his personal challenge for the next year is to invent the computerised servant to assist with household chores.

And he likened the idea to the character Jarvis in the Iron Man films, a highly advanced form of artificial intelligence (AI) who manages almost everything in the superhero’s life.

In a Facebook post he wrote: “Every year, I take on a personal challenge to learn new things and grow outside my work at Facebook.

“My challenges in recent years have been to read two books every month, learn Mandarin and meet a new person every day.

“My personal challenge for 2016 is to build a simple AI to run my home and help me with my work. You can think of it, kind of like Jarvis in Iron Man.”

He plans to explore what technology is already in use before personalising the invention so it can recognise his voice and control everything in his home, including the lights, music and heating.

Mr Zuckerberg, who has a month-old daughter named Max, added: “I’ll teach it to let friends in by looking at their faces when they ring the doorbell.

"I’ll teach it to let me know if anything is going on in Max’s room that I need to check on when I’m not with her,” he said.

The Facebook founder said he also plans to use the assistant to help him visualise data to improve his businesses.

He added: “This should be a fun intellectual challenge to code this for myself. I’m looking forward to sharing what I learn over the course of the year.”

And the entrepreneur has called for girls to be encouraged to “be the nerd’’ in school so they can be successful inventors later in life.

He was responding to a Facebook post from Darlene Hackemer Loretto who wrote: “I keep telling my granddaughters to date the nerd in school, he may turn out to be a Mark Zuckerberg!”

However, responding to the comment, Mr Zuckerberg said families should encourage girls to set their sights higher and be the brains behind the inventions.

“Even better would be to encourage them to ‘be’ the nerd in their school so they can be the next successful inventor!” he wrote.

Every year, Zuckerberg comes up with a challenge meant to teach himself new skills.

One year he learned to speak Mandarin, in another he only ate meat from animals he hunted personally. According to his A Year of Books feed, he made it through 23 books on everything from energy production to world religions.

His latest challenge comes as Facebook is working on its own artificial intelligence initiatives, including building an assistant for users through the Messenger application.

More in this section

Select your favourite newsletters and get the best of Irish Examiner delivered to your inbox