As in-home voice assistants such as Google Home and Amazon Echo become increasingly popular, the concern for privacy rises as well. In fact, over 65% of people feel that it is highly important to be able to securely control what information is collected about them (Pew Research). Voice assistants that are always listening can make consumers feel uneasy about where their personal information is going.
According to Iconoculture, Mycroft AI is developing its own in-home voice assistant that will be available in late 2018 called the Mycroft Mark II. The Mark II is an open-source voice assistant which, unlike big-name competitors, does not store consumers’ voice data. However, consumers are able to share their voice data for enhanced speech recognition if they would like. Consumers can also customize the app-agnostic Mark II voice assistant with skills and apps of their choice.
Mycroft’s Kickstarter campaign for the Mark II reached its $50,000 goal in just six and a half hours. By mid-March, the campaign received almost $400,000. Mycroft CEO Joshua Montgomery stated that competitors like Google and Amazon are unlikely to amp up privacy options. Montgomery believes that the best way to keep your data private is to make sure that your data is gone.