5 things you need to know about Mark Zuckerberg's AI video

5 things you need to know about Mark Zuckerberg's AI video
PHOTO: Mark Zuckerberg's Facebook

It's another mission accomplished for Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg as he wraps up 2016 with the successful installation of an artificial intelligence (AI) named Jarvis which now runs his home.

On Wednesday, he revealed a video to candidly showcase the marvels of his year-long project to build the AI and mobile app with which he controls it.

There was another one which followed too, this time showing life in the house with Jarvis, through the eyes of his wife Priscilla.

He later posted in the comments section of the first video: "In case it's not clear, this is meant to be a fun summary and not a live demo."

So just to set things straight, he isn't talking about a new product that's about to hit the market anytime soon.

He was just having a little fun, it seems - for now.

And before all you naysayers start criticising his acting, think about it: Here's one of the richest guys in the world, who's probably friends with many Hollywood A-listers, but isn't an actor himself.

So cut Mark some slack, and watch both clips, which not only give a personal insight into the Zuckerberg household but also shows them capable of some good old-fashioned humour, like that particularly well-placed Nickelback dig no one saw coming. Ouch.

For the record, both videos were viewed nearly 15 million times within the first 15 hours of being published.

Here are five things you need to know about the videos that were on everyone's lips this morning.

1. The AI is inspired by Iron Man's Jarvis

Zuckerberg named his AI after the highly advanced computerised AI developed by billionaire Tony Stark in the Iron Man comic and film series.

Called Jarvis (it stands for 'Just A Rather Very Intelligent System'), it manages almost everything, especially things connected to technology, in Stark's life.

2. Morgan Freeman goes from playing 'God' to becoming a butler

Zuckerberg roped in Morgan Freeman to be the voice-over for his AI after many Facebook users said the actor would be the most appropriate when Zuckerberg asked for suggestions a few months ago.

Freeman, who sounds clear and calm in his deep baritone, had played the role of God in movies such as Bruce Almighty, and more recently produced The Story of God, which happens to be National Geographic's most-watched TV series of all time.

 

3. Arnold Schwarzenegger's voice makes a cameo

Action hero star Arnold Schwarzenegger has a 'guest star' role as Jarvis too. Well actually, his voice does, and thankfully it is short-lived.

When Zuckerberg's child Max is seen walking out of a room in the video, Schwarzenneggar is heard saying in his Terminator voice: "Stop her. She's getting away. Do it now."

In the segment, Zuckerberg says he's experimenting with different voices. Good thing he went with Freeman on this one - when he speaks English at least.

Mark Zuckerberg and wife willing to donate millions to education, healthcare

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    In a letter to Maxima posted on his Facebook page, Zuckerberg and wife Priscilla Chan said they were going to give away 99 percent of their company shares - estimated value $45 billion - during their lives in an effort to make a happy and healthy world.

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    Zuckerberg and his wife invested $10 million in Bridge International Academies to support their innovative education program in Africa.

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    The couple are active philanthropists and have donated generously to causes in education and healthcare.

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    "Our society has an obligation to invest now to improve the lives of all those coming into this world, not just those already here." Zuckerberg in November said that he and his wife are donating $20 million to help get high-speed Internet service to US classrooms.

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    A month earlier, Zuckerberg and his doctor wife revealed plans to start a private school in a hardscrabble Silicon Valley town, mixing education with health care.

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    In June of last year, Zuckerberg and Chan began pumping US$120 million (S$170 million) into San Francisco Bay Area schools.

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    Zuckerberg said: "Our major focus in education is personalized learning. That means supporting the development of schools, teachers and technology. When students can learn at their own pace in a way that's personalized to their learning style, the results are amazing."

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    The couple also donated US$75 million to San Francisco General Hospital to help fund critical equipment and technology for the new public hospital.

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    Zuckerberg said that this was an important donation because it was where Priscilla started her career as a doctor.

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    He said: "We believe investing in the health of future generations is one of the most important things we can all do. We're deeply thankful for all the doctors, nurses, community leaders and everyone who has worked so hard to make this new hospital center a reality."

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    Facebook also gives a US$4,000 bonus for parents to help meet the needs of new babies. Parents who are Facebook employees also receive four months paternity and maternity leave.

4. Freeman needs to brush up on his Mandarin

While Zuckerberg's Jarvis speaks perfect English, his spoken Mandarin sounds inscrutable.

In the video, Morgan Freeman's voice can be heard saying something in Mandarin that raises eyebrows as he supposedly tells Zuckerberg's daughter Max "Zao Sheng Now" during 'Mandarin practice' time. Perhaps he means to say 'Zao Shang Hao', which means 'Good Morning'.

Despite this, Zuckerberg praises his Mandarin, saying his pronunciation is "so soothing". Oh really?

5. The personal T-shirt cannon

It's a known fact that Zuckerberg's signature clothing item is his grey T-shirt. Has anyone seen him in anything but that?

So what better way to feature those rows of greys lining his wardrobe than to throw in a piece of tech that every bachelor might yearn to have.

Behold, the personal T-shirt cannon: Have a T-shirt launched at you on command and save the precious seconds it takes you to go get it yourself.

Real cute, Mark, but we can only guess that Priscilla will have final word on that being a permanent fixture in the bedroom.

chenj@sph.com.sg

 

 

 

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