10 Legendary Robots Zuck Can Draw Inspiration From
Facebook founder and new philanthropist Mark Zuckerberg has made a New Year's resolution, and it's not something as easy as going to the gym more or giving up carbs. We're talking a real engineering challenge, getting back to the basics of coding for the 31-year-old chairman and CEO. Zuckerberg has challenged himself to build his own AI assistant for help around the house and at the office.
Zuckerberg said he has made resolutions in past years, too. One year, it was learning Mandarin. Another, it was reading two books a month. At one point, his goal was to meet a new person every day. This year's might be a little more technically difficult, but there won't be much socialization involved. He said that, as opposed to the other projects he has been working on lately, this solution he'd like to build himself.
Some of the things that he'd like his AI to do are fairly mundane: controlling lights, the furnace, and other home appliances through voice commands. It would help him keep track of his newborn daughter Max too, by alerting him to anything going on her room. At work, it might help him visualize things through virtual reality. While there are already solutions for many of these problems, Zuckerberg's combining them into one would be impressive. Some Hollywood writers beat him to it, though, and he can look to them for inspiration.
The Jetsons' Rosie The Robot
The ultimate helper around the house, the Jetsons' maid kept things sparkly and bright. Though why she didn't come with a built-in vacuum, we'll never know.
The HAL 9000 From 2001: A Space Odyssey
This AI might be a tad more evil than Zuckerberg is going for, but you have to credit his ability to engage with the rest of the crew. He can play chess, for goodness sake!
Samantha From Her
Samantha, the intelligent operating system voiced by Scarlett Johansson, is extremely likable. If his AI will follow him from home to work and back, Zuckerberg better consider hiring someone with a nice voice to tape the Siri-esque responses that he will need.
R2D2 And BB8 From Star Wars
If I were going to have a personal assistant, I'd want them to follow me around. That's the great thing about the Star Wars droids. Not only that, but they can also store some big-time data, and project hologram messages from your best friends. Zuckerberg would surely love to see his daughter on a 3D display.
One of the key tasks that I would want a helper around the house to do would be cleaning. Zuckerberg probably already pays people to do that, but why not kill more birds with one stone and design his helper to clean? WALL-E had to clean the whole planet. Surely, he could handle Zuckerberg's mansion.
Robot From Robot & Frank
You may not have heard of this movie, but it's worth seeking out. After an elderly ex-jewel-thief gets a robot as a gift from his son, they start robbing rich people together. Zuckerberg's net worth have be $45 billion, but why not find a bit more to give to charity?
The Brave Little Toaster
Technically, these small home appliances are not brought to life by engineering prowess. That said, if Zuckerberg could get his AI to make him toast, we'd have more motivation to upgrade to smart houses.
Lt. Commander Data
Probably the ultimate AI, Data works within the human hierarchy in Starfleet. Extremely knowledgeable and striving for his own humanity, you couldn't find a better assistant. In fact, he's chief operations officer on the USS Enterprise. The human-form body won't happen in a year, but I think Data's an excellent long-term goal.
Marvin The Paranoid Android
The ship's robot from The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, Marvin has an enormously large brain, which has led him to severe depression and boredom. Some 50,000 times more intelligent than a human, he'd be a great help for anyone — just prepare yourself to be around such a downer.
This guy is the actual inspiration, as Zuckerberg mentioned in his post. From the Iron Man and Avengers movies and comics, Just A Rather Very Intelligent System does everything around the house for Tony Stark. He also helps in battle, perhaps adding that perfect work-life balance that Zuckerberg is looking for in his AI.
No matter which route Zuckerberg takes, there's a good chance that more of us will want one if he's successful. I know I'd be telling my AI to make me some coffee.