Mark Zuckerberg to build AI to help at home and work

Mark ZuckerbergImage source, AFP
Image caption,
Mark Zuckerberg said his challenge for this year was to build AI to help him personally and professionally

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg has said he plans to build artificial intelligence (AI) to help him around the house and with his work.

In a post on the social media site, he said his personal challenge this year would be to build a "simple AI" similar to the butler Jarvis from the film Iron Man.

Mr Zuckerberg plans to share his progress over the course of the year.

Last month, he made headlines for plans to give away 99% of his Facebook stake.

He had to defend his philanthropic venture - launched to celebrate the birth of his daughter- after critics argued that it could provide a way for the founder to avoid paying tax on the sale of his shares.

'Control everything'

On Monday, Mr Zuckerberg said he would start to build the AI with technology that is already out there and teach it to understand his voice to control everything in his home from music and lights to temperature.

"This should be a fun intellectual challenge to code this for myself," Mr Zuckerberg said.

"I'll teach it to let friends in by looking at their faces when they ring the doorbell," he said. "I'll teach it to let me know if anything is going on in Max's (his daughter's) room that I need to check on when I'm not with her."

Analysis: Rory Cellan-Jones, Technology correspondent

It is now a long time ago, but I've been trying to remember my two periods of paternity leave.

I dimly recall clumsily changing nappies, making endless cups of tea for visitors, and a mixture of immense joy and total weariness. What I'm sure I did not do is come up with a plan for a personal robot assistant.

For Facebook, he added that the system would help him visualise data in virtual reality and help him build better services, as well as lead his company.

His announcement comes as Facebook is in the midst of AI initiatives such as building an assistant through its Messenger app for users.

The tech billionaire said a part of the motivation behind this year's challenge was the reward of building things yourself.

His previous personal challenges have included learning Mandarin, reading two books a month and meeting a new person every day, he said.