From The Editors Technology

Not Happy with the Posts of a Friend on Facebook? Use the New SNOOZE Button to Mute Them for 30 Days

On Saturday (Dec. 16), Facebook added a new feature that affords its two billion users better control over the content in their News Feed.

Using the new Snooze button in the top-right menu (…) next to each post on your News Feed, you can now temporarily mute that friend who has been testing your nerves with his/her posts, or shut up any group or page for any reason you like – it’s a user prerogative that does not require you to give a reason.

It can come in real handy in a number of scenarios that, at some point in their Facebook experience, most users, if not all, have encountered – the most common being a friend who has been cluttering your News Feed with heaps of posts and updates, especially on topics that don’t interest you, among many other similarly annoying scenarios that you’d like to take a break from.

“We’re testing new ways to give people control over their News Feed so they can stay connected with, the stories they find most relevant,” Facebook told TechCrunch.

While many social media features are hardly ever used, Snooze is likely to see extensive employment across the platform. Yours truly, for one, has already started making the most of it.

Some scenarios where Snooze can come in handy are:

  • Students Snoozing friends, pages, and groups that could prove to be major distractions before and during exams.
  • Snoozing over-zealous friends and groups bombarding your News Feed with stuff that you could well do without, getting them back on when sanity prevails.
  • Snoozing brands when they go overboard with their holiday deals.
  • Snoozing an ex- whose posts you are better-off without – until you get a hold of your emotions.

These are just a few examples from hundreds of other potential scenarios where you may find the Snooze button pretty useful.

However, if you find yourself snoozing a friend, group, or page on a regular basis, it’s time you Unfriended or Unfollowed them – just a suggestion!

The best part about the new feature is that the friend, group, or page being “snoozed” will not get any notification of your action – so, nobody gets offended.

And, when the 30-day snooze is about to expire, Facebook notifies you about it. It’s up to you, then, to allow the muted friend back onboard your News Feed or shut him up for another month in the interest of your sanity.

“Seeing too many photos of your uncle’s new cat? Is your friend tempting you with endless photos of ramen on her Japan trip? It turns out, you’re not alone,” Facebook product manager Shruthi Muraleedharan said in an announcement blog post.

Because of its temporary nature, Snooze can be looked at as a softer version of Facebook’s Unfollow feature it introduced in 2012.

Snooze joins an array of other content-control features like Hide and Report and more options under the News Feed menu on the top-left of your News Feed/Homepage screen, including Top Stories, Most Recent, Friends Feed, Pages Feed, Groups Feed and Photos Feed, that are designed to enhance your News Feed customization experience.

Snooze access is currently not available to all FB users, as it is still in a testing phase along with many other features FB hopes to introduce.

“One of the things that I’m most proud of and I think is really key to our success is this testing framework we’ve built,” Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg recently told Reid Hoffman on the podcast Masters of Scale. “At any given point in time there isn’t just one version of Facebook running, there’s probably 10,000.”

“One of our core News Feed values is giving people more control. Over the next week, we’re launching Snooze, which will give you the option to temporarily unfollow a person, Page or group for 30 days.

By selecting Snooze in the top-right drop-down menu of a post, you won’t see content from those people, Pages or groups in your News Feed for that time period,” says the Facebook team.

While Facebook claims to have included the new feature on common user demand, it comes at a time when the company is facing serious questions about its adverse effect on children’s psyche and society in general, with a former Facebook employee going as far as to say that social networking platforms are destroying the very fabric of society.

“Social networks are ripping apart the social fabric of how society works. The short-term dopamine-driven feedback loops that we have created are destroying how society works and eroding the core foundations of how people behave by and between each other,” said former Facebook executive, Chamath Palihapitiy, during an interview at Stanford University in November.

So far, most of the reactions on social media are pretty much supportive of the new feature.

From The Editors Technology

Facebook Secretly Introduces Its Moments-Like App in China minus the Branding

Despite the fact that Facebook apps are almost entirely banned in China, Facebook has covertly launched a photo-sharing app in the country minus the ubiquitous Facebook brand – understandably so, considering the ban.

According to a New York Times report, the American networking giant authorized a local company called the Youge Internet Technology to launch the app in the country in May. The app is named “Colorful Balloons” and, while it may not have the Facebook brand name attached to it, it has been designed along the lines of Facebook Moments.

The last active Facebook product in the country, the popular messaging application WhatsApp, got partially blocked as China enforced an online clampdown last July in a bid to tighten its control over cyber security. The move has served as a catalyst in shoring up the popularity of China’s indigenous messaging app WeChat owned by Tencent and the micro-blogging service, Weibo.

In an email response to an AFP inquiry, a Facebook representative said Friday:

“We have long said that we are interested in China, and are spending time understanding and learning more about the country in different ways.”

“Our focus right now is on helping Chinese businesses and developers expand to new markets outside China by using our ad platform,” the statement further said.

According to the NYT, it is not yet known if China’s internet regulatory authorities are aware of the new app.

The Times also reports that the app cannot be downloaded from a shared link; it has to be downloaded from an app store.

acebook chief and co-founder Mark Zuckerberg has made high-profile visits to China. PHOTO COURTESY: MARK ZUCKERBERG/FACEBOOK
Facebook chief and co-founder Mark Zuckerberg has made high-profile visits to China. Photo; Mark Zuckerberg/Facebook

Back in February, Zuckerberg had ruled out any expansion plans in the People’s Republic, saying there would be “no news at all in the near term.” However, the fact that he has made some “high-profile visits” to China meeting with leaders with political clout and even studying Mandarin, is kind of contradictory to his February statement.

The New York Times sums up its piece rather well, saying that the surreptitious “release of an app by a major foreign technology company in China is unprecedented.”

“It shows the desperation — and frustration — of global tech companies as they try to break into the world’s largest online market. It also underscores the lengths they are willing to go and their increasing acceptance of the idea that standards for operating in China are different from elsewhere.”

From The Editors Technology

“Jayden K Smith” Hacker Hoax Goes Viral On Facebook – Best Advice to FB Users: Ignore the Message

“Please tell all the contacts in your messenger list, not to accept Jayden K. Smith friendship request. He is a hacker and has the system connected to your Facebook account. If one of your contacts accepts it, you will also be hacked, so make sure that all your friends know it. Thanks. Forwarded as received.”

This is the latest hoax that Facebook users across the world are being hoodwinked into circulating among their friends.

While it definitely makes sense not to accept friend requests from unknown persons as they could be hackers looking to get access to your personal stuff, the fact remains that this particular message is an outright hoax as there is no evidence of any user by the name of Jayden K. Smith who has gone berserk sending mass friend requests.

Besides, such requests to unknown users by any other user is a breach of the Facebook terms and conditions and are sure to get flagged and draw necessary action from the social networking giant – hopefully.

Let readers be reminded that this is not the first time this has happened. Similar versions with a few variations have been doing the rounds on Facebook for years now.

While we have had messages warning against friend requests from names including Anwar Jitou, Bobby Robert and Tanner Dwyer, Mr. Smith seems to be winning the popularity game as this has gone viral in a big way.

Two other versions that immediately come to mind are, one that asks users to share a warning that users’ photos will be made public unless they opt out of the feature and another that asks you to share a message that says Facebook will charge users for services unless they confirm they want it for free.

Users who are actually named Jayden K. Smith suddenly find themselves in the limelight however brief it may be. Here are two FB posts from two Jayden K. Smiths.

On a lighter note, here are some tweets that are sure to tickle your funny bone
– Enjoy!

From The Editors Technology

Facebook Will Hire 3,000 Staffers to Review Violent Content – Mark Zuckerberg

Zuckerberg said, recent videos including the horrific video of a man killing himself and his 11-month-old daughter in Thailand was “heartbreaking,” Just last week, we got a report that someone on Facebook Live was considering suicide, “We immediately reached out to law enforcement, and they were able to prevent him from hurting himself.”

In a Facebook post-Wednesday, said the company will add 3,000 people to its community operations team around the world in addition to the 4,500 it employs today to review “the millions of reports we get every week and improve the process for doing it quickly,”

“If we’re going to build a safe community, we need to respond quickly. We’re working to make these videos easier to report so we can take the right action sooner — whether that’s responding quickly when someone needs help or taking a post down.”

In his Facebook post announcing the move, Zuckerberg acknowledged the recent string of violent videos that have raised questions about the company’s moderation practices:

Over the last few weeks, we’ve seen people hurting themselves and others on Facebook—either live or in a video posted later. It’s heartbreaking, and I’ve been reflecting on how we can do better for our community.

Two videos of a Thai man killing his 11-month-old daughter in April were available for 24 hours before being removed and were viewed over 370,000 times. 

Facebook’s chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg said: “Keeping people safe is our top priority. We won’t stop until we get it right.”

Zuckerberg said Facebook workers review “millions of reports” every week. In addition to removing videos of crime or getting help for people who might hurt themselves, he said the reviewers will “help us get better at removing things we don’t allow on Facebook like hate speech and child exploitation.”

There have been many horrifying incidents in recent months that were posted on Facebook. An Alabama man committed suicide on Facebook live last month, there were three Facebook Live-related suicides, including a 14-year-old girl in Miami who took her own life. On Easter Sunday, Cleveland man uploaded a clip showing himself shooting and killing a random 74-year-old man on the street.

Wednesday’s announcement is a clear sign that Facebook continues to need human reviewers to monitor content, even as it tries to outsource some of the work to software due in part to its sheer size and the volume of stuff people post.

From The Editors Technology

Mark Zuckerberg Wants to Create Global Utopia With Facebook

In a letter posted on Facebook this morning, Mark Zuckerberg plays savior as he addresses the global community with a 6000-word letter, outlining his growing concerns about the divided world we are living in and how Facebook can help create the perfect global community that is a win-win for all.

According to Facebook CEO, the world seems to be going in the opposite direction to the global community he had envisioned with the introduction of his social networking site.

With Trump pushing for stronger borders, his attempt to crackdown on immigrants with his Executive Order, and the U.K. opting out of the European Union he feels that the Facebook mission of keeping the world harmoniously connected is in jeopardy AND it is Facebook that can come to the rescue of the global communities.

“When we began, this idea was not controversial,” he explains. Every year, the world got more connected and this was seen as a positive trend. Yet now, across the world there are people left behind by globalization, and movements for withdrawing from global connection.”

Zuckerberg goes on to talk about his fanciful and ambitious plans of creating a utopian world community by providing an ideal platform, read Facebook, to crack down on unwanted elements like terrorists, fake news and propaganda proponents with the help of technology such as Artificial Intelligence, new tools to “encourage thoughtful civic engagement” and “additional perspectives and information” in news feeds.

Don’t forget that Facebook and a few others were on the receiving end of some hard criticism on the role they played in the outcome of the US presidential election by encouraging fake news and propaganda on their social platforms.

Although Mark Zuckerberg had played down Facebook’s role in the eventual result of the 2016 election, “I do think there is a certain profound lack of empathy in asserting that the only reason someone could have voted the way they did is they saw some fake news,” he had also gone on to say, “We have already launched work enabling our community to flag hoaxes and fake news, and there is more we can do here. We have made progress, and we will continue to work on this to improve further.”

Coming back to the letter, without speaking about the business aspects of Facebook, he talks about ways Facebook seeks to reverse the trend that is going against his “global community” vision.

He speaks about how Facebook could help people build “supportive communities”, “safe community”, “smart community”, “informed community”, “civically-engaged community”, and “inclusive community” and goes on to elaborate at length on each of these areas of concern.

Zuckerberg, however, does realize that elaborate plans such as the ones he has in mind will take a long time to implement and, perhaps, even longer to see them come to fruition. This, he makes very clear at the outset itself.

“This is a time when many of us around the world are reflecting on how we can have the most positive impact. I am reminded of my favorite saying about technology: “We always overestimate what we can do in two years, and we underestimate what we can do in ten years.” We may not have the power to create the world we want immediately, but we can all start working on the long term today. In times like these, the most important thing we at Facebook can do is develop the social infrastructure to give people the power to build a global community that works for all of us.

From The Editors Technology

Mark Zuckerberg Files Lawsuits Against Hawaiian Families Over Kauai Land

Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook fame had purchased a 700-acre tract of beachfront land on the Hawaiian island of Kauai in 2014 for over $100 million with the intention of creating a private getaway for his family.

Small plots of the 700 acres of land in question are occupied by hundreds of local Hawaiian families handed down over generations as reported by the Honolulu Star-Advertiser.

Fourteen plots of over 8 acres of land are the disputed areas as they, allegedly, infringe on the tech billionaire’s private property. Last month Zuckerberg’s legal team started filing lawsuits against these plot owners, including some who are not alive anymore.

According to the Honolulu Star Advertizer, “Three Zuckerberg companies — Pilaa International LLC, Northshore Kalo LLC, and High Flyer LLC — filed eight quiet title lawsuits Dec. 30 in state Circuit Court on Kauai.”

A quiet title lawsuit basically means that a case is filed in a relevant court over ownership of disputed property.

In the Mark Zuckerberg case, the strategy adopted by his legal team is called the “quiet title and partition” lawsuit which requires the owners to sell their plots of disputed land to the highest bidder in a public auction.

Zuckerberg ordered a genealogical research in a bid to identify the owners of the 14 plots that traverse his property, who are supposed to be the descendants of the Kuleana farmers that were granted plots of land between 1850 and 1855. These owners also include descendants of those who purchased the disputed plots from the original farmers.

To clear up the controversies surrounding the lawsuits and the legal ownership, Mark Zuckerberg gave the following clarification in his Facebook post:

“The land is made up of a few properties. In each case, we worked with the majority owners of each property and reached a deal they thought was fair and wanted to make on their own.

“As with most transactions, the majority owners have the right to sell their land if they want, but we need to make sure smaller partial owners get paid for their fair share too.”

He goes on to explain in his post that the purpose of his lawsuits was not to deprive anybody of their rightful share and it was a fair deal because many owners who had a quarter to one percent entitlement on the land didn’t even know about their rights to ownership.

The lawsuits, he explains, were intended to identify the descendants of these part owners so that they could get their fair share of the sale amount.

“To find all these partial owners so we can pay them their fair share, we filed what is called a ‘quiet title’ action. For most of these folks, they will now receive money for something they never even knew they had. No one will be forced off the land.” He guaranteed in the post.

Seventy-two- year- old Carlos Andrade, a retired University of Hawaii professor in Hawaiian studies and one of the 300 descendants of Manuel Rapozo who had purchased four plots of land totaling about 2 acres, is helping Zuckerberg in identifying these descendants as a co-plaintiff.

According to Andrade, he is supporting Mark Zuckerberg in the case to ensure that his family property is not lost to the county. However, the expenditure involved in documenting Manuel Rapozo’s family tree and identifying what percentage of ownership was entitled to whom is one of the major issues he faces among others.

From The Editors Technology

Mark Zuckerberg’s Personal Challenge for 2017 Begins With a Charity Visit to Dallas

Mark Zuckerberg is known for setting a personal challenge for himself at the beginning of each year with the intent to accomplish it before the year ends and set a new personal challenge for the following year.

His personal challenge for 2017 in his own words was “to have visited and met people in every state in the US by the end of the year,” a statement which has given rise to speculations about his political ambitions.

“My work is about connecting the world and giving everyone a voice. I want to personally hear more of those voices this year.”

Well, his personal challenge for this year began with a trip to Dallas on Monday, January 16, 2017 – the starting point of his intended visit to 30 states, he hasn’t been to before, by the end of 2017.

His Dallas agenda was a combination of work and philanthropy. In his, Facebook post-Zuckerberg wrote, “The first state I’m visiting this year is Texas. I’m here in Dallas for work, but I’m also taking time to meet members of our Texas community over the next few days as part of my Year of Travel challenge.”


According to his post, he spent Monday with members of the Oak Cliff community “planting a garden.” It was to mark the community’s “Day of Service” in honor of Martin Luther King Jr.

Zuckerberg referred to Oak Cliff as a “food desert” and the garden he and the community members worked on was “going to be a source of fresh fruits and vegetables for the community.”

Another agendum on his “service project” was interacting with some students from the TAG Magnet School in Oak Cliff, “one of the best public high schools in the country,” feels Mark Zuckerberg.

He seemed to be happy and impressed with the fact that computer science was a mandatory subject for every freshman at the TAG Magnet School.

“Every freshman at TAG is required to take computer science, and some of the students I talked to have already gotten into schools like MIT.”

He expressed his gratitude in his FB post to all the members of the community for sharing their experiences and to Taylor Toynes, especially, who has been a teacher at the W W Bushman Elementary School since August 2014 and is also a Community Impact Associate at Commit team, for inviting him.

“Service events like this are a great reflection of Dr. King’s spirit and his life’s work. And thanks to all of you who participated in a Day of Service in your community,” he added in his post honoring the work of Martin Luther King Jr.

Zuckerberg made it a point to include a visit to the Dallas Police Department in his “service project” agenda where he met with officers and exchanged views on how social media was impacting law enforcement.


“The officers had good ideas for how we can help them connect with their communities to keep people safe, and I’ll be taking a lot of them back to our teams.” Zuckerberg wrote in an earlier post.

Taylor Toynes, who was host to Zuckerberg, wrote on his Facebook post “Today one of the richest men in the world walked one of the most poverty-stricken neighbourhoods in the city of Dallas.” He took the opportunity to thank Mark Zuckerberg and the Facebook team for taking time out to be there; however, he did not hesitate to add that “there is still much work to do.”

By choosing Dallas as the starting point of his 2017 “personal challenge,” Zuckerberg has killed two birds with a single stone, as, Tuesday, he has to testify in Dallas on a $2 billion lawsuit against him accusing him of obtaining the Oculus VR Company in 2014 on stolen technology.

From The Editors

Hate Crime Streamed Live on Facebook – Four Black People Charged by Chicago Police

The abhorrent, loathsome, repugnant, disgusting, sickening, revolting, nauseating, and whatever other adjectives you’d like to add, are not enough to describe the treatment meted out to a mentally unstable white man by four black suspects or rather culprits, as the video is proof enough of calling them confirmed culprits even though the law says nobody is guilty until proven so.

Names of the four so-called suspects:

Jordan Hill – aged 18 is from Carpentersville, Illinois, while Brittany Covington – aged 18, Tanisha Covington – aged 24 (sister of Brittany Covington), and Tesfaye Cooper – aged 18 are from Chicago.

Booked under Charges: While the incident occurred on Tuesday, all four were taken into custody on Wednesday and charged with hate crimes, kidnapping, aggravated battery with a deadly weapon, and aggravated unlawful restraint on Thursday. One of them is reported to have been booked for burglary as well.

Victim: The18 year old victim remains incognito as the police have not revealed his name – yet; they have, however, said that the 18-year old suburban Chicago resident is with his parents recovering from his injuries.

Four charged for Facebook Live beating video
Four charged for Facebook Live beating video

The sequence of Events:
The Facebook live broadcast went viral showing a terrified young white man in what looked like a gray hooded sweatshirt and dark pants cringing in a corner with his mouth taped shut, and his neck and wrists bound tight with orange coloured bands.

The 30-minute graphic video shows the man cowering in the corner of a room while his attackers laugh and hurl insults at him shouting “F**k Donald Trump” and “F**k white people” as they continue to assault the terrified man with punches and kicks and cut his forehead with a knife.

If this is not racism and a hate crime then what is?

In the words of Chicago Police Department Superintendent Eddie Johnson himself, “it’s sickening”… “It makes you wonder what would make individuals treat somebody like that.”

According to authorities, the assault on the wretched man went on for hours together, five hours according to some sources, when the Chicago police found the victim “in distress” walking along a street.

Anthony Guglielmi, the police spokesman said that the authorities were initially under the impression that man was targeted because of his mental state – “special needs” – and not for being white. Mr. Guglielmi, however, acknowledged that the perpetrators had made “terrible racist statements”.

Mr. Guglielmi also did not rule out the possibility of the suspects trying to extort something from the victim’s family.

According to the police, the, so far unnamed, victim was a classmate of one of the attackers, Jordan Hill, and initially went with that person voluntarily on December 31, 2016, ending up in a stolen van which was driven to a western area in Chicago and went to the residence of the Covington sisters where the attack took place in the 3400 block of Lexington Avenue.

The victim somehow managed to escape when neighbours alerted the police to report the shouting and noise emanating from the apartment in question.

According to the police commander, Kevin Duffin, “He’s traumatized by the incident, and it’s very tough to communicate with him at this point,” obviously referring to the victim.

Following is the twitter statement issued by the department on the incident and the “disturbing” video.

“While on patrol Officers observed a disoriented male walking 3400 W. Lexington on January 3, 2017, who was then transported to an area hospital for treatment. At 5:26 p.m. officers then responded to a battery at a residence on the 3300 block of W. Lexington where they discovered signs of a struggle and damage to the property and (were) able to link this evidence to the disoriented male. Officers later became aware of a social media video depicting a batter of an adult male which is believed to be the same individual. At this point CPD believes the video is credible and detectives are questioning persons of interest in the case. The victim, whom CPD believes is from a neighboring suburb, was transported to an area hospital in stable condition. The investigation is ongoing.”

From The Editors Technology

The Two-Year Limit Has a Workaround According to Provisions in the SEC

The reports about a restriction of two years on Mark Zuckerberg serving as a government functionary while remaining with Facebook, which he founded, was a misinterpretation of the STATES SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION (SEC) documents.

Therefore, the apprehensions that had been circulating for a while that Mark Zuckerberg may have to quit Facebook to serve in the U.S. Government for an indefinite period of time has been laid to rest.

The question (Will Zuckerberg have to quit Facebook to serve in United States government?) has been answered with proper reference to the United States STATES SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION (SEC) documents.

A close and detailed scrutiny of the SEC documents by experts reveals that Zuckerberg has to fulfil only one of these two mandatory requirements below:

a. He needs to own enough Facebook stock – OR
b. Have the Facebook Board of Directors’ authorization (approval) to serve in the government

The third scenario would be to serve in the government for only two years should he fail or desist from meeting one of the two requirements for a life term government service – well, nobody would believe that Zuckerberg would be thrilled with the third option at his disposal.

In an earlier story on our website, titled “Mark Zuckerberg Builds AI Assistant for Home and Family” we had spoken about that particular achievement as one of his yearly resolves which he makes as a challenge to himself at the start of every year.

This is what he wrote on his Facebook post on Tuesday:

“Every year I take on a personal challenge to learn new things and grow outside of my work. In recent years, I’ve run 365 miles, built a simple AI for my home, read 25 books and learned Mandarin.

My personal challenge for 2017 is to have visited and met people in every state in the US by the end of the year.”

Now, the idea of resolving to meet people of every state in the U.S. in 2017 reflects his political ambitions, as interpreted by many.

Now, with the two-year-time-limit dilemma out of the way, is his FB post a not-so-subtle hint about his political dreams? Well, most speculate that it probably is!

The inadvertent, hopefully, misreporting or rather the misinterpretation of the SEC by publications such as Fortune, Vanity Fair, The Guardian, and TechCrunch may have risen from the court findings of the text messages exchanged between Zuckerberg and Andreessen.

The messages talk about a debate on the two-year limit with no mention of the other two, more feasible, alternatives available. TechCrunch, however, has acknowledged the discrepancy and issued a correction.

Coming back to Mark Zuckerberg’s political ambitions, the challenge he has set for himself to meet people from all states, “My work is about connecting the world and giving everyone a voice. I want to personally hear more of those voices this year.”

Sounds like a politically motivated challenge he has set for himself in 2017 – and why not? The United States is a free country and Mark Zuckerberg is no ordinary personality.

You can read Zuckerberg’s full post on Facebook, if you haven’t already, and judge for yourself.

As far as the writer’s opinion is concerned, and I am sure many would agree, it is not a bad idea at all to have a talent like Mark Zuckerberg in the government.

However, it’s not going to be an easy job to earn the faith of the people who still have the fake news scandal fresh in their minds – but Mark Zuckerberg has proved that he thrives on challenges and he has the talent and wherewithal to meet his 2017 resolution.

The massive philanthropy initiatives he has taken along with his wife Priscilla Chan and her foundation, the “Chan-Zuckerberg Initiative”, show that he has a genuine concern for people.

He has all the requisites to be as successful in government as he has been in his various ventures.

From The Editors Technology

Mark Zuckerberg Builds AI Assistant for Home and Family

Over the years we have seen quite a few examples of science fiction of the past, also termed ‘future shocks’ by many, become the reality of the present, Artificial Intelligence included.

To put it in layman’s terms Artificial Intelligence is the creation of computer hardware and software that are capable of intelligent behaviour and can be programmed to mimic human intelligence like “learning” and “problem-solving.”

While Artificial Intelligence (AI) has become an indispensable element in modern day technology, especially in the 21st century, the concept has been around for some time now.

However, like with many other technological realities of today, the successful creation and deployment of Artificial Intelligence has experienced its share of setbacks as well, its trials and travails can be traced as far back as the 1950s, or maybe even earlier.

Facebook: Mark Zuckerberg
Facebook: Mark Zuckerberg

In modern times Artificial Intelligence has been successfully integrated into many technologies like understanding human speech, gaming technologies, self-driving cars, to name a few – and ongoing research can and will find many other uses of this amazing technology.

Back in January Mark Zuckerberg made public his plan of coding a program with the help of Artificial Intelligence to perform basic day to day tasks for his home and family.

On January 4, 2016, Facebook post, Zuckerberg wrote:

“My personal challenge for 2016 is to build a simple AI to run my home and help me with my work. You can think of it kind of like Jarvis in Iron Man”

In the Marvel-Comics- based Iron Man films franchise, Jarvis is the stylized form of J.A.R.V.I.S the acronym for “Just a Rather Very Intelligent System.

“I’ll start teaching it to understand my voice to control everything in our home — music, lights, temperature and so on. I’ll teach it to let friends in by looking at their faces when they ring the doorbell. I’ll teach it to let me know if anything is going on in Max’s [Maxima Chan-Zuckerberg, his daughter] room that I need to check on when I’m not with her.” He continued in his January post.

“This should be a fun intellectual challenge to code this for myself. I’m looking forward to sharing what I learn over the course of the year,” he concluded.

With the year nearing its end, the challenge he had set for himself has been realized with some degree of success as there is always further work involved to make such projects work at the optimum – some more tweaks and fine tuning, one would suppose, to make a perfect AI home assistant.

Daniel Terdiman, a San Francisco-based tech journalist with almost 2 decades of experience behind him, writes on

Mark Zuckerberg’s ‘Jarvis’

“Zuckerberg has always enjoyed what he calls the “deterministic” nature of engineering—the element of being able to sit down and build something that does exactly what you want it to do.”

He goes on to say, “Often, Zuckerberg told me, he emerges from a coding session feeling much like he does when he studies Mandarin, the language he learned as his 2010 challenge. He feels like his brain is activated, on fire.”

Talking about the goal he had set for himself at the start of 2016, Zuckerberg writes in his December 19, post:

“So far this year, I’ve built a simple AI that I can talk to on my phone and computer, that can control my home, including lights, temperature, appliances, music and security, that learns my tastes and patterns, that can learn new words and concepts, and that can even entertain Max. It uses several artificial intelligence techniques, including natural language processing, speech recognition, face recognition, and reinforcement learning, written in Python, PHP and Objective C. In this note, I’ll explain what I built and what I learned along the way.”

He goes on to explain the technical aspects of his personal 2016 challenge of building the Artificial Intelligence assistant which he compares to Jarvis of Iron Man fame under the following headings:

* Getting Started: Connecting the Home
* Natural Language
* Vision and Face Recognition
* Messenger Bot
* Voice and Speech Recognition
* Facebook Engineering Environment
* Next Steps
* Conclusions

To know more about the points above refer to his post on Facebook.

However, world-renowned theoretical physicist Prof Stephen Hawking, one of Britain’s pre-eminent scientists, told the BBC: “The development of full artificial intelligence could spell the end of the human race.”

Well, if he were to be believed, it’s a very scary prediction indeed for the human race