From Siri and Alexa to Cortana and Google Assistant, all have been largely recognized as pillars in the world of AI-powered voice assistants. While they’ve been widely integrated into connected household technologies and have the backing of industry behemoths like Amazon, Microsoft, Apple and Google, competition might not seem realistic.

Enter Snips (and Snips Labs!), a French startup that offers users more control over their voice assistants without having to tap into the software development kits (SDKs) established by leaders in the space. Better yet? The Snips solution operates offline without sending anything to the cloud, for what the company calls, “Privacy by Design.”

Snips breaks down the processes behind voice assistant technology as a series of rules, starting with “wakewords” — which trigger the initial point of contact with the AI. Snips boasts real-time speech recognition through state-of-the-art deep learning versus an audio file like its brand-name competitors.

While it’s currently limited to English and French, Snips is working to generate data by having users define variables, and whether or not they’re required for a query. Snips offers its users a reprieve from data entry, with the option to pay for someone at Snips to do the work for you. The data set is scrubbed and checked before it’s sent back, at which point it’s ready for use.

You’ll need some free space on your device before setting up your Snips voice assistant, and a developer to make the final implementation a full reality.

The end-goal for Snips is that bigger manufacturers who may currently be qualified as competitors will embed Snips into future iterations of their existing AI assistants.

Written by IEEE on December 4, 2017