Facebook founder, Mark Zukerberg, brings Jarvis the Virtual Assistant App to the World.


Facebook founder, Mark Zukerberg, on Tuesday, introduced Jarvis to the world. Jarvis is a home assistant with a difference – he isn’t human, but an app. This software was developed by the tech entrepreneur to meet a variety of needs around the house, from turning off the light, adjusting the room temperature to one that is favourable, preparing meals and even supplying Mark with a change of clothes.

Jarvis responds to Mark’s voice and talks back to him, lets guests in after a facial identification, it also alerts him of his schedule and things going on within the house, for instance, when Max, Mark’s daughter with wife Priscilla, woke from sleep, Jarvis informed Mark about it. There is very little that Jarvis cannot do around the house as can be seen in the video shared by Mark.

While the app was still being built, Priscilla, Mark’s wife, encountered some issues with it initially. At first, the app only responded to Mark’s voice, completely ignoring Priscilla’s instructions. She also complained that the voice used earlier was a bit aggressive (Arnold Schwarzenegger’s voice). Modifications were made afterwards to create what Mark introduced to the world yesterday; a friendly, helpful software which detects your needs as a family and meets them – and sometimes refuses them if it doesn’t approve. 

Watch the video below to see Jarvis’ reply after Mark asked it to play some good Nickelback songs.


6 Ways The Jarvis App Works

1. Control his main appliances, including his lights and toaster


“It’s possible to control some of these using internet-connected power switches that let you turn the power on and off remotely,” he wrote. “But often that isn’t enough. For example, one thing I learned is it’s hard to find a toaster that will let you push the bread down while it’s powered off so you can automatically start toasting when the power goes on. I ended up finding an old toaster from the 1950s and rigging it up with a connected switch. “

2. Play music based on his or his wife’s preferences, depending on who asks





Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan, his wife.
Since Zuckerberg trained his assistant to recognize both his voice and the voice of Priscilla Chan, his wife, it will play different music tailored to whoever asks. If the mood is off, they can say general statements like “That’s not light — play something light,” and the assistant will correct itself.
“In general, I’ve found we use these more open-ended requests more frequently than more specific asks,” Zuckerberg wrote. “No commercial products I know of do this today, and this seems like a big opportunity.”

3. Scan the faces of his visitors and let them in through the front door

Facebook

Zuckerberg used Facebook’s facial-recognition technology to scan the faces of his visitors from cameras positioned at his front door.
“I built a simple server that continuously watches the cameras and runs a two-step process,” he wrote. “First, it runs face detection to see if any person has come into view, and second, if it finds a face, then it runs face recognition to identify who the person is. Once it identifies the person, it checks a list to confirm I’m expecting that person, and if I am then it will let them in and tell me they’re here.”
4. Chat with him through the Messenger app and a dedicated voice-recognition iPhone app

Zuckerberg created his own Messenger chatbot for texting commands to his assistant — like “turn the bedroom lights off” — and another standalone app for giving it voice commands.
Interestingly, his favorite method of interacting with his assistant is through the chatbot:
“One thing that surprised me about my communication with Jarvis is that when I have the choice of either speaking or texting, I text much more than I would have expected. This is for a number of reasons, but mostly it feels less disturbing to people around me. If I’m doing something that relates to them, like playing music for all of us, then speaking feels fine, but most of the time text feels more appropriate.
“Similarly, when Jarvis communicates with me, I’d much rather receive that over text message than voice. That’s because voice can be disruptive and text gives you more control of when you want to look at it. Even when I speak to Jarvis, if I’m using my phone, I often prefer it to text or display its response.”

5. Talk to him like a human being and tell jokes

Zuckerberg with Max, his daughter, and Beast, his dog. Facebook/ Mark Zuckerberg

Zuckerberg wanted his assistant to have a sense of humor, so he programmed it.
“On a psychologic level, once you can speak to a system, you attribute more emotional depth to it than a computer you might interact with using text or a graphic interface,” he wrote.
“One interesting observation is that ever since I built voice into Jarvis, I’ve also wanted to build in more humor. Part of this is that now it can interact with Max [his daughter] and I want those interactions to be entertaining for her, but part of it is that it now feels like it’s present with us. I’ve taught it fun little games like Priscilla or I can ask it who we should tickle and it will randomly tell our family to all go tickle one of us, Max or Beast. I’ve also had fun adding classic lines like ‘I’m sorry, Priscilla. I’m afraid I can’t do that.'”

6. While the assistant is too tied to his own home now, Zuckerberg is considering creating a different version to give away or become a “foundation to build a new product.”


In
 his post explaining how Jarvis works, Zuckerberg wrote that “over time it would be interesting to find ways to make this available to the world.”
“I considered open sourcing my code, but it’s currently too tightly tied to my own home, appliances and network configuration. If I ever build a layer that abstracts more home automation functionality, I may release that. Or, of course, that could be a great foundation to build a new product.”
This is wow! Technology is taking over!

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