Whether they admit it or not, everyone sets New Year's resolutions. For some, these resolutions are simple goals they'd like to achieve within the upcoming year. For others, these resolutions are complete lifestyle changes. But Mark Zuckerberg's New Year's resolution puts everyone else's to shame. He'd like to build an AI butler this year.
In a public Facebook post this past Sunday, Zuckerberg wrote the following: "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."
We love how Zuckerberg used the term "simple" to describe this AI, because he then went on to explain some of the tasks he'd like this AI to take on.
"I'll start teaching it to understand my voice to control everything in our home - music, lights, temperature and so on," Zuckerberg said. "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. On the work side, it'll help me visualize data in VR to help me build better services and lead my organizations more effectively."
So, why has Facebook's CEO decided to take on this project? Well, each of his yearly goals has a theme, and this year's theme is invention. In his post, Zuckerberg gave a shout out to the engineers he works with daily, by saying that he admires them for building new things. "Some of the most rewarding work involves getting deep into the details of technical projects," he said. "This should be a fun intellectual challenge to code this for myself."
As for whether or not he plans to expand this software into a product that's available for everyday consumers, he didn't say. For now, his only comment about where this might go was, "I'm looking forward to sharing what I learn over the course of the year."