Alexa, Google Assistant, Bixby, Cortana are not the only smart speakers, they all have something in common: created and baked by a big company. But they are not the only assistants in the market.
As conversational computing becomes more widely available, assistants that offer a different sort of vision of the future are emerging, offering counter-narratives and different technological approaches.
That’s why startups like Snips, which is bringing its own smart speaker to market, center their attention on one primary differentiator: privacy. “My goal is to destroy Alexa by providing a platform that is the exact opposite, that people are going to enjoy building on top of If you really want to distinguish yourself from Alexa or Google, you have to do something that’s radically different. My job is not to catch up to Alexa. My job is to offer something that’s so different that people effectively don’t even compare — that’s my objective.
Mycroft.ai is another intelligent personal assistant and knowledge navigator for Linux-based operating systems that uses a natural language user interface. Mycroft is a free, open-source and It is said to be the world’s first fully open-source AI voice assistant.
This startups are tapping into the surveillance fear that people have of all the information hosted in the cloud that can be targets for hacking. Regardless of whether smart speaker conspiracy theories are true, they’re having an effect. According to several studies, outlined in the show notes, one of the main reasons people have said for not having a smart assistant is privacy concerns. Also in the assistant alternatives is SoundHound which raised 100 million in May. In the car, where Google is pushing Assistant in Android Auto and Amazon is installing Alexa in cars from Toyota and Ford, SoundHound is pitching its assistant and Hound platform as an alternative that lets brands deploy conversational AI without the need to say “Alexa” or “OK, Google.” SoundHound does not present itself as a better choice based on privacy, but just like more recognizable AI assistants, alternatives like SoundHound and Snips are competing to make their assistants available in a broad range of devices found in the home or workplace.
We can not tell if Snips or Mycroft will survive or be eaten by the big ones in the conversational AI space, but for sure the alternative it’s appealing. We’ll be here to continue bringing you all the latest on it. My opinion is that convenience will win, always.
Thank you for listening.
Some content taken from this Venture Beat piece.