Google is always up to something. And I mean that in a positive way. What now, you ask? Well, they have teamed up with Raspberry Pi in order to build a Google Home/Alexa alternative. Which sounds pretty neat. I remember when I first saw Raspberry Pi, maybe 5 years ago, I was immediately wondering what it could do. I am by no means a computer expert, but my mind went nuts around this tiny machine’s capabilities. With this partnership, it makes you wonder what else is possible?
How does it work? Well, essentially you have to purchase a pack which contains a Voice HAT Board with a speaker and microphone. Allowing you to create your own voice integration system. Building your own voice integration system in itself is pretty cool, but there is a larger concept at play here that I would like to explore. And that’s the concept of “do it yourself” artificial intelligence. Or AIY as it’s being referred to. And what exactly does that mean for the future of artificial intelligence? And specifically, what other kinds of things could we make ourselves?
One of the more common concepts of artificial intelligence is the ability to interact with a machine, in order to get information. We see this with Google Home or Alexa integration into the Amazon devices. So giving people the ability to build their own home integration systems is extremely forward thinking. Sure, it doesn’t look nearly as cool as the devices made by Google and Amazon, but does it need to? Especially if it is delivering the same or similar functionality?
On one hand I could see myself actually trying to make one of these myself. Mostly because I like the sense of accomplishment of being able to do something like this. But on the other hand, I could see myself getting easily frustrated if it didn’t come together properly. I’m pretty resourceful, but I’m not sure that I would have the patience if something wasn’t working just right. And then what? I’m stuck with a bunch of parts that I can’t put together in a way to make them work. Because I’ve never actually tried to assemble one, I am not suggesting that I couldn’t. But I am curious to know what kind of skill level you need to put one together? Or if it’s a plug and play type situation?
Google is super excited to see what you can create with one of these. Maybe that’s the real goal with one of these. Which means that someone like myself wouldn’t necessarily be able to utilize this to it’s full capabilities. The bottom line, however, is that you can now do it yourself. Google is giving you the tools to first create a product similar to Google Home, and also giving you the capability to build on it. To give it some kind of meaning and existence. And what does that even look like? I am a bit of a dreamer, so what that might look like to me might not actually be possible. Or possible for me to execute, but that doesn’t mean that the possibilities aren’t endless.
It also doesn’t mean that Raspberry Pi won’t team up with other companies to build something really cool. Or continue to work with Google and build on this concept. I love to see these kinds of things being developed. I love that Google is giving non-Google developers the ability to use their platform or systems to be able to build something amazing. What that might be is completely up to you.