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I'm looking for a that is:

*
* Compatible with
* Doesn't send private data to third parties
* Doesn't require an account with a third party

Sadly fails, both by forcing the use of an identifying account and then sending data to third parties (read the privacy policy).

Is there a friendly alternative though? The only thing I've found is Susi.ai but I haven't looked into its privacy policy yet. It's FOSS though.

@Blort

Didn't know that about Mycroft. Could that be changed if opensource?

@Blort I want this but it can run entirely on my phone and nowhere else

And I wouldn't even care if all it could do was set alarms and reminders cause that's the only thing I ever found Google assistant useful for
@Blort

this is what fdroid told me: https://f-droid.org/en/packages/ai.susi/

not sure if its what you want or if it even fits your requirement. im not using any VA in the first place. :/

@Blort you might have to develop something yourself.

It's easier than you might think. Basically you'd use CMUSphinx for speech recognition, Wolfram Alpha as the "brain" and Festival to turn the answer into speech.

I vaguely remember making something that did this with Python and a Raspberry Pi, but I imagine someone with more time on their hands could do more clever things with it.

@Blort kalliope is alright if you don't mind writing the logic yourself

@Blort I tried Susi, and unfortunately it's complete and utter garbage

@Blort Mycroft's default configuration uses third party services but from what I can tell it can be used with a local speech recognition server

@kropot

On their page it says that they're not working on it now. Unclear if they'll ever come back to it, but seems to be unmaintained.

@kropot Well, yes, however from what I've seen now, there's many similar projects. From my admittedly limited research, it seems there are 4 main parts to a good voice assistant, all of which have good options:

Speech recognition:
Processing/interaction:
Speech synthesis:
Automation:

All we need is someone to put them all together with a good UI, community, communications and privacy policy...

@saligari

Interesting, but it seems primarily interested in home automation where I'm more interested in a privacy friendly, voice enabled virtual assistant.

I like what they're doing with Project Ada though, adding voice to Almond. Almond looks like more of what I'm after, but without voice recognition or speech synthesis, it's a lot less useful to me.

@Blort
If I'm not mistaken, ifyou self host Mycroft it doesn't use third parties. The source is open so this should be easily fixed if true.

@SporkyDorky

Not sure... before I read the privacy policy, I pulled from git source, compiled and installed on my PC, and it still forced having an account at Mycroft.ai and wanted money to be able to use the much better voice based on Mimic2 for more than a free trial period (7 days?)

@Blort a few others have already said it, but Snips.ai is probably what you’re looking for. Fully offline capable and open source.

@iamthefij

Snips seems to all be permissive FOSS licenses, so far so good... however it seems that you still need to create an account and agree to their terms of use before they let you download it... :/ Maybe it's possible to bypass by git cloning the Github source, but this still doesn't exactly seem to be exactly freely available... Still, I'll be keeping my eye on it. Thanks!

@Blort I think the TOS is for using their online console for customizing and downloading intents created by others and creating your own and training new models.

I can’t remember for sure though.

@iamthefij

Yeah, I need to look into more closely. It *does* seem to have the technical underpinnings I'm looking for (locally hosted, fine without an internet connection, ). I'm just always wary when the project website isn't about the users, community and code, but about corporate partners and news items that would attract VC funding.

Snips' website just looks a lot more like the latter.

I don't want to judge it by it's cover though.

@Blort forget Snips. Sonos just bought them and they are pretty much killing the open product. 😭 I’m going to check out Almond.

@iamthefij

From what I've seen *does* look like the best engine for processing user intents and bringing back relevant information (with an impressive scope of integrations and assistant to assistant communication).

The main challenge with Almond is that it seems it currently has no voice input or output (ie speech recognition and synthesis).

It looks like by is about to work on that though.

@iamthefij

I'm a bit wary of as well though (although less so than ) as elsewhere they seem to be happy to run their users speech recognition and speech synthesis through by default.

What I really want is > > , but no one seems to be offering that in an easy package. :mastosob:

@Blort Yea. I've been following HomeAssistant for a long while now. They are trying to build a tool that the average non-technical user can use and it will "Just Work". They clearly care about offline (their recent blog post calling out Sonos). They also address this in a subsection of their blog post. They are looking to bring it local when it's easier to do so. Personally... I'm not running a live mic that connects to the internet in my living room, so I'll wait. home-assistant.io/blog/2019/11

@iamthefij

Good to know. I've only just begun my dive down this rabbit hole (although I've been involved with long enough to spot an aspiring VC backed startup from an idealistic community run FOSS project).

Good to know called out the whole thing. I just wish they'd ditch for their hosting, speech recognition and speech synthesis stuff.

@Blort Just did some reading on #HomeAssitant #Ada. They do say: "Ada is a voice assistant that outsources all processing to the speech-to-text (new!), conversation and text-to-speech integrations in Home Assistant. You can pick your own providers for each integration."

I don't see the Azure components merged into the repo yet, but we only have to wait until someone adds a new component for any other TTS or STT provider. There are actually already several TTS ones available.

@Blort For what it's worth, #HomeAssitant has many, many components available. Some are cloud based, some are local. Their goal is to cover every possible component someone will want to use and connect it through a hub that you control/own. This allows connecting cloud platforms and local platforms for automation and gives users the maximum amount of choice.

@Blort The other good news is, HASS is 100% open source with a lot of contributors. If they every tried to do what Snips did, they'd be forked. Similar to Emby/Jellyfin or Subsonic/Libresonic/Madsonic/Airsonic.

This is all just to say: Investing in #homeassistant appears low risk. 😀 Sorry for the flood of mentions. I've done a lot of research here and thought I'd share.

@iamthefij

I appreciate all of the info! This is new to me, so I'm happy to learn more. I also don't have an issue with extras that connect to networks. My concern is that in the diagrams by 's that I saw, they showed services exclusively for speech recognition / synthesis. I don't mind them as *alternatives*, but I don't want to use & support projects encouraging centralization, datamining, etc. by default.

Hopefully this won't be HomeAssistant.

@Blort "What I really want is #Mozilla #DeepSpeech > #Almond > #Mimic2, but no one seems to be offering that in an easy package."

That's pretty much exactly what I want too. Nailed it.

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