Mycroft is pitching its new platform as more secure and customizable than voice assistants currently on the market.
Mycroft, the Kansas City-based voice platform company, announced an open source voice-activated private assistant, The Mark II, which the company claimed is an alternative to Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant.
WHY IT MATTERS
Mark II is a speaker designed for everyday users with varying levels of technical expertise, Mycroft said.
The company also touted Mark II’s privacy, customization, user agency and open data capabilities as differentiating its technology for the more entrenched voice assistants.
THE BIGGER TREND
Artificial intelligence voice technologies are promising to change the dynamics of how we interface with machines and, consequently, how humans interact with each other. Voice technologies from Amazon, Apple, Google, Microsoft and others are beginning to take hold and expand in the consumer market, with extensive development underway to bring this technology fully into healthcare.
Some frontrunning hospitals are already forging how patients experience healthcare with voice AI. Commonwealth Care Alliance chief of clinical innovation John Loughnane, MD, said the industry is on the verge of voice technologies that can be used to tailor individualized care regimens.
Indeed, there are still some growing pains to be endured. Speaking at the Boston Children’s Voice Health Summit in October, Sara Holoubek, CEO of Luminary Labs, called 2018, the year of the voice tech pilot. “We’re in this extensive period of trial and error,” she said.
ON THE RECORD
From Mycroft: “Voice is coming to every device, every platform and every household globally. The technology has a growing presence within the home as an AI assistant. This calls for voice to be flexible, customizable, vendor neutral, and privacy focused; things that the proprietary voice assistants on the market today don’t offer.”
A Mycroft spokeswoman said the Mark II will be available in December and the company will officially launch the system at at the Consumer Electronics Show next year, to be held Jan. 8-11 in Las Vegas.
Date: December 5, 2018