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Meet Mycroft: An Open Source Virtual Assistant

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Brief: If you want a smart speaker cum virtual assistant like Amazon Echo and Google Home that doesn’t spy on you, Mycroft Mark II is what you are looking for. The open source device is open for pre-order via its crowdfunding campaign.

 

This is the era of
. From setting alarms to get weather information, from playing your favorite music to play Netflix for you, these virtual assistants do it all. You just need to call their name and ask them the questions. You don’t even have to be nice to them, not that it hurts. All you need is a device that uses these virtual assistants.

The Kickstarter campaign,

 

 

The current Indiegogo campaign,

 

 

For those with a 3D printer,

 

 

 
Mark II Dev Kit – DIY

Are you a hacker or maker that loves to put things together? Choose this reward and get the chance to build it yourself! This reward comes with the PCBs, LCD, speakers and necessary cables, but no housing. This reward will ships with documentation, CAD files for 3D printing, and an SD card fully loaded with everything you need!

 

The Mycroft home page contains more information,

 

 

 
, buy a
, or build with a

See what potential open source AI has to offer!

A list of current "SKILLS" that Mycroft can do.

 

 

I like the sound of Mycroft. Even at this early stage it looks to have some neat and useful skills.
cool.gif

 

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Not convinced it won't be spying on us. Just because they say it doesn't, doesn't mean its not. They already note it can record and share everything, they just claim it does not by default. That does not mean it cannot be hacked.

 

These devices must, by their very nature, be listening to everything all the time. Otherwise, how would they know to wake up and respond when they hear their name?

 

I will only consider one of these devices if they require the physical push of a button to wake. But of course that then makes them much less convenient. You can't yell at it from across the room. Oh well.

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Not convinced it won't be spying on us. Just because they say it doesn't, doesn't mean its not. They already note it can record and share everything, they just claim it does not by default. That does not mean it cannot be hacked.

 

These devices must, by their very nature, be listening to everything all the time. Otherwise, how would they know to wake up and respond when they hear their name?

 

I will only consider one of these devices if they require the physical push of a button to wake. But of course that then makes them much less convenient. You can't yell at it from across the room. Oh well.

 

Yup the security side of it being on all the time is certainly of concern. I do not know enough about that side of things to say if it is truly secure or not. :breakfast:

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Well, security and privacy are totally different and it is important we all understand and not confuse the difference.Security involves hacking passwords and bank accounts, and infecting systems with malware. I don't see that as a problem here.

 

Privacy, on the other hand, is about tracking our usage so, in this case, they can target us with ads, or recommend things we might like based on our previous searches or habits.

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The name sounds like Mycroft Holmes, Sherlock Holmes' elder brother. :teehee:

 

Nice to have an open source assistant like Amazon's Echo and Google Home. B)

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