Loose lips won’t sink Snips, a new Siri competitor that promises privacy

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Looking to outsource your brain? Artificial intelligence is already getting close, and we may be even closer with Snips, a mobile AI company from the collective minds of three Ph.D.’s. Today, the company launched its AI platform for iOS, claiming to be the only technology of its kind that is “private by design.”

While technology’s primary goal seems to be making our lives easier, that convenience often seems to come at the price of security. But with Snips, the founders say that the platform’s design ensures that a user’s personal data never leaves their device, and more importantly, that no one — including Snips — can collect any sensitive information. This means that the user and the user alone has full control of his or her data.

The platform is meant to mimic the human brain, drawing inspiration from the way in which our memory stores information. Snips organizes and links data, making it searchable and anticipating your needs, the company claims. From remembering the name of your favorite coffee shop to helping you book an Uber with a single tap, Snips hopes to take all the legwork out of … well, life, it seems. And thanks to Snips’ machine learning technology, the platform gets smarter every day, recalling more information more accurately, the more frequently it’s used.

So how does Snips differ from other AI platforms and virtual assistants? According to the company, there are two major differentiating factors.

“First of all, Snips is working on building out the memory of AI first and foremost, using machine learning technology to build and understand connections,” Snips told Digital Trends. “AI like Siri have been focused more on building out the language of AI, which in the absence of a strong memory of connection leaves much to be desired (think about the fact that when you ask Siri “take me home” she just Googles that phrase rather than really understanding what you mean).”

But perhaps more importantly, Snips notes, its platform is “private by design, which means that while it’s building all of these connections, the information is being stored locally on your device.” Unlike Siri, which stores information it pulls remotely on Apple’s servers, Snips claims to be the only AI to avoid remote or cloud-based servers for storing the personal information the program is collecting, which means not even the Snips team can access your information.

Related: DARPA thinks artificial intelligence could wring out bandwidth from the radio spectrum

“I strongly believe in a future where Artificial Intelligence will manage technology for us, allowing people to live their lives with the feeling of being unplugged,” said Rand Hindi, founder and CEO of Snips. “This is where AI is headed, and Snips is the first installment of that future. By focusing on building out the memory of your personal AI, we can make it actually understands what we want and can thus become ubiquitous.”

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