Face, meet book: Zuckerberg plans to dabble in AI this year

We have met the machine, and we LIKE™ it

Having conquered the relatively simple matter of an organic intelligence, Mark Zuckerberg is now trying to master artificial intelligence – or, at least, create a snoopin', cookin' 'n' facial recog 'bot for his house.

The Facebook Duke has challenged himself in 2016 "to build a simple AI to run my home and help me with my work" and will be blogging, on Facebook no doubt, about his efforts.

His immediate plans are relatively simple:

I'm going to start by exploring what technology is already out there. Then I'll start teaching it to understand my voice to control everything in our home -- music, lights, temperature and so on.

Facebook has already proposed that it has an answer to Siri and Cortana, although some suspect "M" is more closely involved with humans in its beta-testing than Facebook has let on.

That said, Facebook's Artificial Intelligence Research Team's (FART)* facial recognition abilities have been widely published. Such capabilities might easily be incorporated into Zuck's integrated household: "I'll teach it to let friends in by looking at their faces when they ring the doorbell."

Evidently taking inspiration from scientist couple the Kelloggs, who attempted to raise a chimpanzee named Gua alongside their human son, Zuck wants to teach the AI "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.

Every challenge has a theme, and this year's theme is invention.

Zuck was keen to mention the Facebook-owned Oculus project, though details were rather short on how data would be visualised, although visualisation has also been a long-standing part of FART's work, with crisis relief in Nepal being the most recent publication in this field. ®


* After Vulture Central noted FART was the accurate acronym for the Zuckerborg's AI team, this author received the following good-natured email from Yann LeCun, the team's director.

Dear Alexander,

It looks like you used an older acronym to designate our organisation in your article.

We did use FART initially, but later switched to FAIL (Facebook AI Lab). We finally settled on FAIR, and call ourselves FAIRies.

Being French, I felt compelled to send these acronyms in your general direction.

-- Yann LeCun Director AI Research, Facebook

PS: I confirm that the metallic-looking fellow in the picture is not Mark Zuckerberg. Also, we don't do robots at Facebook. You must be thinking of Google.

Fair play, say we.

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