I have always wanted my own robotic nanny, a'la The Jetsons, but how practical would a blathering housemaid really be? Well, forget Hanna-Barbera's outer space family, how about having a robotic #MorganFreeman controlling your house in full A Space Odyssey style? The house of the future is officially upon us, and the likes of #IronMan's J.A.R.V.I.S. are not that far off reality.
Freeman ends 2016 by voicing #Facebook CEO #MarkZuckerberg's house, and no, this isn't Freeman's latest animated film. The billionaire installed a state-of-the-art system into his home and asked if Freeman wouldn't mind lending his silky vocals. The AI is ironically named Jarvis, and controls everything from the lights, to the temperature, and worryingly the security.
We all know that celebrity Sat Navs quickly went from a fun way to pass a car journey to irritating within a matter of miles, but I'm not sure anyone could ever tire of a rise and shine from Morgan — I would probably get him to narrate The Shawshank Redemption to me every day. So, are we about to see a new wave of celebrity voiceovers right from our very living room?
Welcome To The World Of Tomorrow
The idea for Zuck's AI home control was first announced in January, so you have to hand it to the entrepreneur, at least he stuck to the schedule:
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… I’m going to start by exploring what technology is already out there. Then 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 room that I need to check on when I’m not with her. On the work side, it’ll help me visualize data in VR to help me build better services and lead my organizations more effectively.
Who should voice the new tech was thrown out to the public, with options from Tony Stark himself, Robert Downey Jr., to Arnie. You can now check out how Jarvis is doing in a video that Zuckerberg posted to his Facebook. Although it may look like a parody skit from SNL, we can assure you, it is very much real!
Zuckerberg went on to remind us that not everything in the video would actually happen exactly like that, and while the video is obviously a little tongue-in-cheek, you can read all the technical specs in his very thorough article. There is no news on whether any financial arrangement was made between Freeman and Zuckerberg, but if I had the Facebook fortune, I would hand over most of it just to have Morgan make my beans on toast.
I still remain skeptical about having a humanized voice run our lives, but Siri has been OK to chat to on lonely nights so far, but cinema is to blame for our aversion to technology taking over. We saw Scarlett Johannson two-time in Her, we all know how the homicidal HAL 9000 turned out, and who could forget the episode of The Simpsons where Pierce Brosnan voiced the murderous Ultrahouse 3000? Sigourney Weaver was also a psycho spaceship in Futurama, and even Brian Blessed once did a celebrity Sat Nav — enough to give you nightmares yet?
That being said, even the prospect of your own house gutting you in your sleep must be softened by the fact that the voice comes in the grandfatherly tones of Morgan Freeman. Zuckerberg escaping his haywire house as a holographic Morgan Freeman stalks him through the halls has Ridley Scott sci-fi thriller written all over it!