A.I. is a fairly hot field and just about everybody is either rolling out or starting to work on their very own solutions, whether they're meant for consumer use, government sector or just a nifty pet project. Though some warn that A.I. needs more control before more advancement is a good idea, developers continue to forge ahead. Similarly, Facebook is a fairly hot company and has been getting into just about everything lately. They've been toying with rural internet access, bought up Oculus to get a hand in the VR space and have been expanding their Messenger app to include tons of new features including being able to hail an Uber cab. That said, it only makes sense to hear Mark Zuckerberg announcing that he's decided to try his hand in the A.I. field.
Every year, Mark Zuckerberg, the outspoken and chipper founder and CEO of Facebook, picks a new challenge for himself for the coming year, seemingly at random. His challenges have mainly been self-improvement tasks, such as "read two books every month, learn Mandarin and meet a new person every day." This year's challenge is to build a custom A.I. "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." From that statement, it's easy to see where this is going.
Zuckerberg says that the planned A.I. will be taught things like answering his door, alerting Zuckerberg to developments in his daughter's room and controlling his home. There was no word on whether this A.I. will end up as a consumer-facing product, but Zuckerberg did say that he will be taking the knowledge from this project back to his work with Facebook. He points out that he's worked closely with engineers in the past, but wants the satisfaction of building this project from the ground up all by himself. Though a personal A.I. assistant can be massively useful in today's world, especially for somebody in Zuckerberg's position, he seems to be doing it mostly for the sake of fun and learning. To cap off his blog post, he sums it up quite nicely; "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."