Chad Kroeger and the rest of Nickelback could probably use some hugs right about now. Having just left the burn unit after a Canadian police department threatened to punish drunk drivers by playing their music on the way to the pokey, the band is now hearing how horrible they are from beloved actor Morgan Freeman.
Well, sorta. The diss in question is actually the handiwork of Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, who is working on a new home artificial intelligence system called “Jarvis,” and tapped the Shawshank Redemption legend to be its first voice. In a 2-minute introduction video, Zuckerberg demos his AI by having it do numerous tasks, both mundane (turn off lights) and weird (teach his baby Mandarin).
Like other home AI systems, namely Amazon Echo and Google Home, and Apple’s Siri, Jarvis will be able to play music when asked. While hanging out with wife Priscilla Chan and the couple’s baby Max, Zuckerberg asks Jarvis to “play us some good Nickelback songs.” Jarvis, using that smooth Freeman voice of his, replies with a brutal, “I’m sorry Mark, I’m afraid I can’t do that… there are no good Nickelback songs.”
After an awkward bit of silence, Zuckerberg announces, “Good. That was actually a test.”
Ouch, Zuck. Ouch. The slight comes a few weeks after an officer in the Kensington Police Department apologized for jokingly threatening to force DUI offenders to listen to Nickelback as punishment for their impaired driving.
Nickelback hasn’t addressed the comment with its nearly 17 million FB followers. The band’s page has been liked over 18.6 million times.
Zuckerberg’s video ends with a not-at-all-wooden “so this has been pretty fun” and an invitation to crowdsource more ideas for Jarvis.
On Content and Fakery: A day after posting the video, Zuckerberg appeared in a Live video chat with Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg to discuss the company’s identity, and to touch on recent criticisms for the proliferation of “fake news” on the site.
“Facebook is a new kind of platform,” Zuckerberg said. “It’s not a traditional technology company. It’s not a traditional media company. You know, we build technology and we feel responsible for how it’s used. We don’t write the news that people read on the platform, but at the same time we also know that we do a lot more than just distribute the news, and we’re an important part of the public discourse.”