Zuckerberg’s new year’s challenge: To build an AI-powered helper

Mark Zuckerberg has decided on a new challenge for 2016: build an artificially intelligent assistant that can help around the home and at work.

Facebook Inc.’s chief executive officer aims to build something like Jarvis in the “Iron Man” comics, he said in a post on the social network. He imagines the assistant letting friends into his house by recognizing faces, checking in on his new baby, and helping run the company by displaying data about the organization in virtual reality. It’ll learn his voice to respond to commands.

Every year, Zuckerberg comes up with a challenge meant to teach himself new skills. One year he learned to speak Mandarin, in another he only ate meat from animals he hunted personally. This challenge comes as Facebook is working on its own artificial intelligence initiatives, building an assistant for users through the Messenger app.

Zuckerberg expects to gain different perspective by working on a project for his own use. While he directly advises many engineers on scientific projects, “it’s a different kind of rewarding to build things yourself,” he said.

He plans to share what he learns — on Facebook, of course.

 – Bloomberg