Mycroft: Linux AI

If you are a fan of Sherlock Holmes you already know who Mycroft Holmes is. The Mycroft we will discuss in this article is no less fascinating. It is a software based artificial intelligence that understands natural language.

Mycroft is not a product yet. The proof of concept works on the popular Raspberry Pi board and is able to play media, control lights etc. The team is working on integrating 20 software features at the time of writing. The first targeted marked is the emerging IoT. Mycroft will be packaged as a cute-looking device with the Pi within.

Mycrot will run Ubuntu Snappy Sore as the operating system. As per the developers it’s also running on Ubuntu 14.04 as a software. They have actually started a crowd-funding campaign for a stretch goal: to support Ubuntu. Mycroft would support other Linux distributions too.

Mycroft listening on Ubuntu

Mycroft device Capabilities

  • Play media
  • If This Then That
  • IoT group (scene) control
  • Create voice channel between two units
  • Announce, record
  • Time, calendar, alarm clock, reminders
  • Twitter, weather, news, stock quotes
  • Spelling
  • Maths
  • Parrot mode (repeat back)
  • Regular expressions to run a shell command when an exact phrase or sub-phrase (key) is spoken
  • Search using Google, Wolfram Alpha, etc. and tells knock-knock jokes

Does the concept of Mycroft sound familiar? It should. It’s going to be a completely open source alternative to Siri, Google Now, Cortana and Echo. Which means you will be able to change the source as per your needs and extend Mycroft. AI over voice doesn’t remain the monopoly of corporations any more. The stated goals of the project are being affordable, open source and exposing open APIs for extensions.

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