The lesson Mark Zuckerberg learned building his robot butler isn't as sexy as the human truths revealed in HBO's Westworld--but it's way more useful in technical applications of artificial intelligence.

The Facebook founder wrote a post Monday detailing how he built 'Jarvis,' a robot that can control the elements of his smart home and learn his tastes and preferences. Zuckerberg's biggest takeaway from the experiment, he wrote, is that artificial intelligence is both more advanced and more limited than he thought.

AI technology is more advanced, he wrote, because it only took him 100 hours to create a working robot that responds to voice or text commands and has speech and facial recognition skills. He wrote code to connect multiple systems in his home that he currently uses: Crestron lights, thermostat and doors; Sonos system for Spotify; a Samsung TV, a Nest cam for his dog Beast, and of course Facebook systems. These capabilities strengthen his conviction that in 5 to 10 years AI systems will have more accurate senses, like vision, hearing and touch, than people.

"At the same time, we are still far off from understanding how learning works," Zuckerberg wrote. Today's AI systems respond to pattern recognition processes, but the days when they can signal intelligent learning by taking those lessons and applying them to a brand new task are still a ways off.

And that's okay, because many products we use today are not built for connectivity yet--Zuck says getting Jarvis to control his t-shirt gun would require some hardware modifications.

Published on: Dec 20, 2016