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After spending Monday in Europe hanging out with Pope Francis and gifting him with a Facebook-branded drone (which we’re sure His Holiness will use all the time), Mark Zuckerberg hosted a town hall meeting in Rome to announce his next big launch. The social media dynamo is planning to present a demo within the month of the artificial intelligence butler he’s been programing himself for his own home. Zuckerberg told the town hall attendees that he’d perfected the technology to the point where he was able to control the temperature and the lights in his home by the sound of his voice and that he also has a front gate that uses a facial-scanning system to open.
When he first announced his intentions to build a fully functional A.I. butler, Zuckerberg described something “like Jarvis in Iron Man.” The film character Jarvis may be fictional, but an A.I. butler actually isn’t so far fetched. In fact, it’s actually much harder to imagine the Pope flying his drone around the Vatican. There is currently a wide range of geek-worthy tech gear for the home, or bits and pieces of Zuckerberg’s bigger picture, if you will. There are robot lawn mowers, speakers that change the playlists according to your mood, and cooking tools wirelessly connected to your iPhone. So until we have Jarvis-type technology wired into our drywall, here are eight smart gadgets to get now before E.T.—or in this case, A.I.—really does phone home.