Robert Downey Jr. in "Iron Man." Courtesy of Marvel

Iron Man Could Be the Voice of Mark Zuckerberg’s New AI Home Assistant

Oct 14, 2016

Mark Zuckerberg is looking for a voice for his new artificially intelligent home assistant, and Robert Downey Jr. has offered to save the day.

Taking inspiration from the Tony Stark, the fictional superhero Downey Jr. plays in Marvel's Iron Man, the real-life Mark Zuckerberg designed his own AI assistant. He's even calling it AI Jarvis, named for Stark's computerized butler, who is voiced by Paul Bettany. So it's no surprise Downey Jr. responded to Zuckerberg's Facebook post asking who should voice his new assistant.

It's time to give my AI Jarvis a voice. Who should I ask to do it?

Posted by Mark Zuckerberg on Thursday, October 13, 2016

That is, Downey Jr. will do it under a couple of convoluted conditions. For example, Zuckerberg would have to pay Bettany, who would then donate the money to the charity of Benedict Cumberbatch's choice. (Cumberbatch is set to start in Doctor Strange, the latest addition to the Marvel Universe.) Zuckerberg responded with, "This just got real."

Zuckerberg first announced his plans for AI Jarvis back in January. It essentially acts as a kind of artificially intelligent universal remote, and can do things like turn off the lights or adjust the temperature.

In addition to domestic duties, Zuckerberg's hope is that the digital helper will be able to assist with his work as well. As he said in January, "it’ll help me visualize data in VR to help me build better services and lead my organizations more effectively."

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