Meet the open-source community’s answers to Google Assistant and Alexa

Conclusions

People like Elon Musk warn about the danger of unchecked development of artificial intelligence [18]. In the short term, these warnings might seem like paranoid delusion, but in the log run, leaving AI development in the hands of opaque governments and corporations is simply asking for trouble. As always, the smarter and safer bet is open source.

Leaving aside the more philosophical debates surrounding artificial intelligence, there is no question that Amazon, Google, and Apple are much farther ahead with their virtual assistants than the open source community is. Mycroft is by no means a shoddy piece of software, but it is nowhere near the same level of polish and capability that comes with a tool like Alexa. But that's fine; it's not supposed to be. The future will see whether the Mycroft developers reach their lofty goals, but more importantly, it is essential that an open source alternative to the proprietary solutions continues to exist. There are plenty of walled gardens in the technological space already; ensuring that some open meadows flourish in the evermore important realm of artificial intelligence is of paramount importance to ensuring our privacy.

Just don't ask Mycroft what beans are.

Buy this article as PDF

Express-Checkout as PDF
Price $2.95
(incl. VAT)

Buy Linux Magazine

SINGLE ISSUES
 
SUBSCRIPTIONS
 
TABLET & SMARTPHONE APPS
Get it on Google Play

US / Canada

Get it on Google Play

UK / Australia

Related content

  • Programming Snapshot – Alexa

    Asking Alexa only for built-in functions like the weather report gets old quickly, and add-on skills from the skills store only go so far. With a few lines of code, Mike teaches this digital pet some new tricks.

  • Interview: Eben Upton

    After six years of development, founder Eben Upton and the other members of the Raspberry Pi Foundation are finally seeing the results of their efforts.

  • Home Assistant

    Home Assistant brings an open standards approach to home automation and control.

  • Doghouse – Raspberry Pi

    The Raspberry Pi computer has rekindled interest in tinkering with hardware and created a market for products combining the tiny computer with customized software.

  • IBM, Universities Collaborate on Technologies for the Aging Workforce

    IBM and the researchers at the University of Dundee School of Computing (UK) and the University of Miami's Miller School of Medicine are collaborating to develop open source software technology tools to accommodate the needs of older workers to help them adapt to and remain productive in the changing workplace of the 21st century.

comments powered by Disqus

Direct Download

Read full article as PDF:

Price $2.95

News