Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has unveiled “Jarvis,” an artificial intelligence system created by him during his free time. Jarvis is capable of playing music, switching lights on and off, recognizing visitors and deciding whether to open the front door.

Jarvis Diagram Facebook

Facebook CEO: Jarvis a ‘big opportunity’

Jarvis, popularly known as the virtual assistant to Iron Man, could be a step forward, said Zuckerberg. However, he did give a disclaimer that the robot, which was created in 100 hours over the last year, was tailor-made for his house.

In a blog post, Zuckerberg stated that by the end of the year, Jarvis could respond to text and voice commands, play music, and control the air conditioning, doors, and other systems. Further, Jarvis can start a toaster and even select t-shirts from his closet. He said that more work on Jarvis could make it a great foundation on which to build a new product.

Jarvis has been designed to recognize context in commands, and therefore can also respond to less specific requests in a better way, such as “play me some music.” The Facebook CEO stated that these non-specific requests are done by people more frequently than specific ones.

“No commercial products I know of do this today, and this seems like a big opportunity,” Zuckerberg said.

He added that when he tells Jarvis to turn on the AC in his office, it means something completely different than when Priscilla tells him the exact thing. He said that Jarvis can now interact with Max, his daughter, and therefore, Zuckerberg wants him to have a sense of humor.

What’s the biggest hurdle?

Zuckerberg noted that computers are getting better at learning patterns such as facial recognition, but it is quite a task to teach them something new.

“Everything I did this year — natural language, face recognition, speech recognition and so on — are all variants of the same fundamental pattern recognition techniques,” the CEO said. “But even if I spent 1,000 more hours, I probably wouldn’t be able to build a system that could learn completely new skills on its own.”

According to Zuckerberg, the scarcity of Internet-connected devices, unavailability of common standards for connected devices for communication, and challenges related to speech recognition and machine learning are major hurdles. Zuckerberg took a personal challenge in creating Jarvis in the wake of digital assistants created by Google and Amazon that are being sold during the holiday sales and are expected to outsell popular emerging gadgets such virtual reality headsets and drones, says Reuters.