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


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.

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