Mark Zuckerberg wants to build a home AI

Imagine if you could live in a house that is intelligent enough to take up many actions and make decisions with minimal human input, sort of like “Jarvis in Iron Man,” those were the words of Facebook founder and CEO, Mark Zuckerberg who intends to design and build a voice-controlled artificial intelligence (AI) system for his home that can manage lights, temperature, music as well as let in familiar friends into the home based on face recognition, and more.

Zuckerberg announced the plan in a Facebook post over the weekend, saying that he intends to build “a simple AI to run my home and help me wit my work” essentially by himself. The entrepreneur wants his home to recognize the faces and voices of its occupants, and respond to voice commands to control a slew of functions. Many technologies already exist to control lighting, thermostat settings, and stereo systems – and Zuckerberg plans to explore those – but his wish list contains other functions that might not be so simple to address. Much like in the movies, Zuckerberg wants his home to have eyes and ears of its own, as well as the ability to learn.

“I’ll teach it to let friends in by looking at their faces when they ring the doorbell,” he wrote. “I’ll teach it to let me know if anything is going on in [daughter] Max’s room that I need to check on when I’m not with her.” As a new parent, perhaps Zuck isn’t as familiar with baby monitors as one might expect.

It’s possible that the 31-year-old billionaire’s home AI system could wind up being an energy efficiency nightmare, though, if he isn’t careful. In his Facebook post, Zuck mentioned a desire to create a system that can automatically adjust thermostat settings using face recognition, since he and his wife Priscilla Chan have different preferences. “I’m very interested in using voice and face recognition to set lights and temperature as well depending on who is in what rooms, etc,” he writes. “For example, I like rooms colder than Cilla, but it’s possible to just see who is in what room and adjust the temperatures automatically.” 

On the surface, a system like that would waste a lot of energy recalibrating as residents move from room to room. A more practical solution would be to find a compromise between the preferences of the occupants - but that wouldn’t be half as cool as having your very own Jarvis it seems. 

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