Skip to main content

Mark Zuckerberg built an AI that controls his house, and he'll demo it next month

Mark Zuckerberg built an AI that controls his house, and he'll demo it next month


It responds to Zuckerberg's voice only — even ignoring his wife

Share this story

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is aiming to demonstrate the artificial intelligence project he's been laboring on in his spare time in September. Zuckerberg shared his plans during a live Facebook town hall Q&A session from Rome today. "I hope to have a demo, hopefully next month," he said when asked about the side project. The screenshot above was taken as Zuckerberg was discussing his AI system; clearly he's happy and excited about the upcoming public debut.

Back in January, the Facebook chief revealed that as part of his annual "personal challenge," he wanted to build an AI capable of controlling his home (things like temperature, lighting, etc.) and assisting with his professional work. At the time, Zuckerberg likened it to Jarvis from Iron Man. And it sounds like he's making progress.

"I got it to this point where now I can control the lights, I can control the gates, I can control the temperature — much to the chagrin of my wife, who now cannot control the temperature because it is programmed to only listen to my voice," Zuckerberg said. "I'll give her access once I'm done," he joked. "So it's getting there. And it's starting to be able to do some pretty fun things, and I'm looking forward to being able to show it to the world." That all sounds pretty par for the course compared to many products in today's smart home, however, such as Amazon's Echo or Samsung SmartThings. We'll need to wait for next month's "short demo" to see if there's anything more to Zuckerberg's approach.

"It's awesome because I get to interact with all these Facebook engineers who are doing all this awesome AI work in speech recognition, in face recognition... I programmed it so now, when I walk up to my gate, I don't have to put in a code or something like that to get in, or put in a key," Zuckerberg told the Rome audience. "It just sees my face and it lets me in. So that is pretty fun. There's some state of the art AI in there. It's been awesome to get a chance to work with our engineers at Facebook and really see on a day to day experience what they're doing and how far advanced the work is that they're doing. It's been a really cool experience so far, and I'm looking forward to showing it off next month."

Zuckerberg has previously said that he expects artificial intelligence to begin outperforming human beings within a decade. "The basic human senses like seeing, hearing, language, core things that we do, I think it's possible to get to the point in the next five to 10 years where we have computer systems that are better than people at each of those things," he said in April.