Earlier in the year, Facebook boss Mark Zuckerberg let his fans know – via Facebook, of course – that he had plans to build an artificial intelligence system which would be controlling aspects of his house such as lights, temperature and so on.
Now, there’s nothing too high-tech about that, except that Zuckerberg wants to have the intelligence system voiced so he can communicate with it, making it part Kitt from Knight Rider, part HAL 9000 and all ‘billionaire acting like a billionaire’.
But having a youngish billionaire speaking to an AI system while walking around his mansion is not a new idea at all. And this is where Robert Downey Jr comes in.
Downey Jr – whose cinematic alter ego Tony Stark AKA Iron Man has a similar system in his house – hit Zuckerberg back on Facebook, offering his services and his voice.
Although he didn’t just throw up his hands and say “pick me”, making a typically cryptic proposal instead.
The Sherlock Holmes star said he would do it only if Paul Bettany – who voiced Tony Stark’s Jarvis system in the Iron Man films – got paid for it, but donated the money to a cause chosen by Benedict Cumberbatch (also of Sherlock Holmes fame, just to make things easy to follow).
Zuckerberg’s response? “This just got real.”
No word yet as to whether the plan has been put into action, because for some reason they won’t let me in to Zuckerberg’s house. But the moment we hear Downey Jr over the loudspeaker telling Zuckerberg he has a new friend request, you’ll be the first to know.
Zuckerberg has copped his fair share of flak lately, after some pundits blamed Donald Trump’s surprise US election result on Facebook’s tendency to allow the sharing of fake news, so he probably enjoyed the amicable exchange.
And while Downey Jr isn’t short of a buck, he’s no Tony Stark. Zuckerberg’s estimated worth is somewhere north of $US50 billion, so he could probably afford anything Bettany – or Iron Man for that matter – would like to be paid.
Well, at least Zuckerberg isn’t running for president. Who knows what he’d do with all our secrets?