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Aug 17, 2015 10:03 AM ET

Archived: Mycroft: An Open Source Artificial Intelligence For Everyone: Uses natural language to control Internet of Things. Built on Raspberry Pi this whole home A.I. plays media, controls lights & more.

iCrowdNewswire - Aug 17, 2015

Artificial Intelligence is here. Self driving cars, natural language processing and a new Jeopardy champion – all brought to you by the miracles of A.I. But as important as A.I. is to our future, it’s so far been a private domain of big private companies. Not anymore.

Meet Mycroft.

Mycroft is the world’s first open source, open hardware home A.I. platform. It is a state of the art A.I. based on Raspberry Pi 2 and Arduino – two of the world’s most popular open development platforms.

Mycroft uses natural language processing to respond to your voice. It makes online services like YouTube, Netflix, Pandora, Spotify and others available to you instantly. No need to pull out your smart phone, log in, select a network, load an app and hunt down a feature. Want to hear great music?  Say “Mycroft, play ‘Uptown Funk’ from YouTube on my Chromecast” and seconds later your video begins to play.

It isn’t just for streaming devices.  Mycroft has an integrated high quality speaker.  It can play music directly. Just ask Mycroft to play your favorite Pandora playlist, kick back and enjoy your tunes.

Mycroft also integrates with your smart devices and allows you to control the Internet of Things. Connect Mycroft to your SmartThings hub, WeMo devices or Phillips Hue lights and command your devices with the sound of your voice. Turn on lights, lock doors, make coffee, water plants and feed pets. Whatever it is – If it is connected to the internet – Mycroft can control it.

Mycroft is an open source and open hardware platform.  It allows developers, makers and tinkerers to explore their own ideas. Want Mycroft to post to your Facebook account? Control a Roomba? Start your 3D printer? You can do it. Our community will include comprehensive documentation on the hardware inside Mycroft and the software that makes it go. And since Mycroft’s core is a Raspberry Pi 2 and his display is powered by Arduino, there are already thousands of tutorials, Instructables and project kits available so you can personalize him to meet your needs.

Our team of experienced entrepreneurs is aware that $99,000 isn’t enough funding to manufacture molds, purchase components, assemble the units, complete software development and deploy our cloud infrastructure.  The goal during this Kickstarter isn’t to fully fund our effort.

Rather, we’re asking you to prove that there is a community that wants to see an open source artificial intelligence solution. Our team has already made a sizable investment in Mycroft’s technology and, with your support, plans to continue investing to make Mycroft a viable open source alternative to proprietary A.I.

Mycroft is poised to shake up the AI market in three ways.

  • Affordable – Mycroft is priced at only $129 per unit, which makes it affordable enough to install 100% coverage in your home or office.
  • Open source- Our disruptive pricing is possible because we are using open hardware. Mycroft’s core components are a Raspberry Pi 2 and an Arduino compatible micro-controller. This provides our project with economies of scale right out of the box.
  • Open API – Mycroft uses a variety of open APIs to process language, determine intent and obtain results. Since much of Mycroft’s processing is performed in the cloud by open APIs, we don’t have to develop our own deep learning neural network. This dramatically reduces our cost and simultaneously improves accuracy and usability.

 Mycroft has a lot of native skills and abilities baked in and, since it is open source, it allows outside developers to add more features over time.

  • Play Media. Play from a variety of sources on a variety of players. 
  • Internet of Things Support. Supported Platforms
  • If This Then That. User can select Mycroft as a source/destination to manipulate Facebook, Twitter, etc.
  • Internet of Things Scene. Mycroft can manipulate a group of IoT devices at one time, or what we call “creating a scene.” For example, the “Lock up” scene might turn off all of the lights, lock the door and shut off any music or media.
  • Create Voice Channel. Mycroft can create a voice channel between two units.  This creates an on demand intercom link between two room.
  • Announce. If there are several Mycroft units in an installation, one unit can create an announcement that is played on all of the units.
  • Record. Mycroft can record audio. Recordings are uploaded to your preferred cloud storage for later retrieval.  To let folks know it is recording Mycroft periodically beeps softly.
  • Calendar. Mycroft can read either Google Calendar or iCal.
  • Twitter. Mycroft can tweet for you.
  • Alarm Clock. Mycroft can act as an alarm clock and perform behaviors such as scenes, news, weather, etc. at certain times.
  • Reminders. Mycroft can repeat a reminder phrase to at a specified date, time.
  • Weather. Mycroft can give the current or future weather for a specified location.
  • Time. Mycroft can give the current time.
  • News. When asked for the news, Mycroft can play the top of the hour news from NPR or the BBC.
  • Stock Quotes. Mycroft can return the current price of a specified ticker symbol or company name.
  • Spelling. Mycroft can spell words out.
  • Math. Mycroft can perform simple arithmetic.
  • Parrot Mode. Upon entering this mode, Mycroft can repeat back whatever you say. Useful for entertaining a parrot or small child.
  • Exact match. Uses regular expressions to perform a shell command when an exact phrase or sub-phrase is spoken.  Say the key phrase and perform any task.
  • Novelty. Performs search using Google, Wolfram Alpha, etc and tells knock-knock jokes.

How does Mycroft compare with other voice systems? Here is a breakdown of where Mycroft stands.

Keep in mind that though the process below looks complex, it all takes place in just a few seconds.

1.) Mycroft listens for its name. When an end user says “Mycroft, ” it listens for a command or question.  If it doesn’t get one, it beeps softly to prompt you.

2.) Once it has received a command Mycroft connects to your home router through WiFi or Ethernet. 

3.) Mycroft sends the command or question to the cloud.

4.) The cloud sends the audio to two or more online application interfaces (APIs) that translate speech to text (STT).

5.) The STT APIs respond with a text translation of the audio phrase.

6.) The Mycroft cloud compares the results and selects the best one based on past performance, response time and other factors.

7.) The text translation is sent to at least two artificial intelligence APIs.

8.) The artificial intelligence APIs respond with a data structure that translates the text into intents, objects, entities, contexts and other categories.

9.) The Mycroft cloud combines the data structure with the user’s profile information and sends the information back to the Mycroft unit.

10.) The Mycroft unit uses the data structure to select the appropriate action.

11.) Mycroft performs the action.

Ryan Sipes – CTO A long time open source software developer Ryan has contributed to the Solus Project, GtK, DuckDuckGo and many others. He is a former systems administrator for the Northeast Kansas Library System. Ryan has extensive experience with data center management including the construction and maintenance of high availability virtualization systems.

Joshua Montgomery – CEO One of the few entrepreneurs in the United States to build a gigabit fiber network from scratch, Joshua brings more than 15 years of entrepreneurial experience to the Mycroft project. Joshua’s previous project, Wicked Broadband, has been featured in Wired, ArsTechnica and Forbes. He is a firm supporter of the open source movement committed to an open future for AI.

Kristie Adair – CFO With more than 10 years of experience as a financial controller, Kris brings the Mycroft project expertise in financial planning, budgeting and accounting. In addition to her duties at Mycroft, Kris serves on the USD497 school board and is the director of the Lawrence Center for Entrepreneurship, a facility dedicated to helping entrepreneurs achieve success.

Derick Schweppe – Design Lead Derick is an industrial design instructor at the University of Kansas Department of Design where he shares his passion for design with talented students. Derick’s portfolio is filled with projects that help people develop emotional connections to the products they use every day. His talents are responsible for giving Mycroft both form and functionality.

Alejandro Seoane – Web Presence Lead Mycroft’s web presence is as important as its voice. Alejandro is responsible for making Mycroft’s online tools attractive and customer friendly. Alejandro takes great pride in developing unique concepts that are both visually appealing and easy for visitors to navigate.

Terry Manies – Communications Lead With over 15 years experience as a professional communicator, Terry is responsible for ensuring that Mycroft’s communications make sense. Terry is a communications professional who has worked in a variety of corporations and colleges including the University of Minnesota, University of Kansas, Northwest Missouri State and Baker University.

Zachary Spears – Video Production Lead Zachary Spears is an up and coming young film maker. Among his many projects is his work on the film Jayhawkers by Kevin Wilmott. His enthusiasm for all things film is both contagious and endearing. Zach’s job is to help the team communicate the creativity and utility of the Mycroft platform by producing high quality videos and stills.

We ship Mycroft units anywhere in the world.  Any costs associated with international shipments over $20 will be billed to the supporter before shipment.

Shipment within the US and Canada will be billed at a flat rate of $10.

Contact Information:

Joshua Montgomery

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