How Is Snips Founder Taking On Alexa And Google With Blockchain?

Snips and voice assistants. Where is the privacy issue headed? Snips are set to take on Alexa as also Google. 

The Privacy Concerns Of Voice Assistant Users

Continuing to face issues as their private data is compromised or as it is sent to random people, the headlines were about how it affected the users of popular voice assistants like Alexa and Siri. Recording a private conversation, it was reported that Amazon’s Alexa had sent it to a random contact insisting its Echo devices were not always recording whereas it did confirm the audio was sent. When voice becomes more and more ubiquitous, the story could then be a harbinger of things to come and as the Amazon announced the launch of Alexa for hospitality where it is the Alexa system for hotels, the stories were like this simply reinforce the idea that voice control seeps into our daily lives. It is here that the French start-up Snips is surely claiming to have an answer to the issue of security as well as data privacy was the software built on it runs 100% on a device that is independent of the cloud. User data, therefore, is processed on the device which acts as a potentially stronger guarantor of privacy. Whereas Snips knows nothing about its users unlike centralized assistants like Alexa and Siri. 

Convincing investors is the approach whereas to date Snips have raised €22 million from investors like Korelya Capital, MAIF Avenir, BPI France as well as Eniac Ventures. It started with creation by 3 PhDs thereby employing more than 60 people in Paris and New York offering the voice assistant technology coming as a white-labeled solution for enterprise device manufacturers. While testing its theories about voice thereafter releasing the result of a consumer poll as a survey of 410 people was found that 66% of the respondents have said they would be apprehensive of using a voice assistant in a hotel room where the concerns are over privacy. It was said that 90% would like to control how the corporations use their data even if it meant sacrificing convenience. 

Why Is Snips Implementing Blockchain Technology?

According to Dr. Rand Hindi, the co-founder, and CEO at Snips, the consumers are being increasingly aware of the privacy concerns whereas with voice assistants they are relying on cloud storage with concerns impacting their usage and emerging technologies like blockchain helping them create a safer and fairer alternative for voice assistants. It is here that blockchain comes to be very much a part of Snip’s future and as Hindi says the company is all set to release the new set of consumer devices independent on the enterprise business with the idea to create a consumer business prompting further enterprise development. 

It is here that they will issue a cryptographic token via an ICO at the same time to incentivize developers improving the Snips platform coming as an alternative using data from consumers whereas the theory going on is that it will put it at odds as an approach used by Google and Amazon constantly being criticized for invading the private lives to merely improve their platforms. It is found that there could be a significant shift in public opinion regarding their privacy is being protected as Hindi believes that the voice-controlled devices become an increasingly common sight in public spaces with the company’s plans for new consumer product being well advanced designed from the beginning to be improved over time thereafter using a combination of decentralized machine learning and cryptography. As Hindi explains, using blockchain technology to share data will be able to train the network whereas it is without ever anybody sending unencrypted data anywhere. 

This is where it gets interesting as training the network by issuing a cryptographic token for developers to use and as Hindi says it will incentivize devs to work on the platform processing data in decentralized fashion starting from a good place claiming they already have 14,000 developers on the platform as there will be further incentivized by a token economy. He continues that otherwise, it is sure people have no incentive to process that data in a decentralized fashion. As he explains they got into blockchain as they were trying to find a way to get the people participating in decentralized machine learning as they are wanting to get into consumer devices for a couple of years as they didn’t figure out the end goal as they had always had the missing element that is how do they keep making it better over time. 

The Final Thoughts 

Further on he states that the main argument for Google, as well as Amazon pretending that you need to send the data to them and thereby making the service better, is if they can fix this using blockchain and offer a real alternative to Alexa guaranteeing Privacy by Design. It is effectively that they have over 14000 developers building for them which is completely organic growth, zero marketing, purely word of mouth as it is nice because it shows that there is a very big demand for decentralized voice assistance. 

While it could be a high-risk strategy, the launching of a voice-controlled device comes to be one thing whereas layering it with applications produced by developed and also incentivized tokens as the crypto prices have crashed which is quite another. Therefore, as they only know if Snips can live up to such lofty ideas after the launch, it does feel like a moonshot idea. 

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