Following the acquisition of my previous startup Snips, I am now moving on to new projects. Here are the things I will focus on, as an entrepreneur and investor.

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Photo by Diego Jimenez on Unsplash

There is a big gap today in Europe where very few people make bets on technologies that might take 10 years to mature, whether due to technology readiness, government regulation or market adoption. But cracking some of these could mean solving some of the biggest challenges we face today. Here are my personal bets for the next decade.

Homomorphic Encryption

It’s no secret I have been a big privacy advocate for close to a decade now. I remember back then, people thought privacy was a nice-to-have or worse, a hindrance. Now, everyone considers it a priority, but nobody has figured out how to deal with it yet. This is precisely where cryptography, and in particular Homomorphic Encryption comes into play. …


Today, we are announcing that Snips will become part of Sonos! We are tremendously excited about this opportunity to bring a more immersive and differentiated voice experience for Sonos customers around the world.

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Snips was founded with a simple vision: that artificial intelligence could change the way humans and machines interact, without compromising privacy. Indeed, the more we become connected, the more we feel oppressed by technology, as each new device requires effort to learn and operate. …


We‘re shutting down the Snips AIR Token Sale and refunding all our buyers. Here’s what we learned in the process.

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Let’s get straight to the point: we failed our ICO. Despite receiving significant contributions, we did not hit our target. This might seem like a step back in our vision, but in fact, it’s just part of the game of building an ambitious startup.

There are many resources online about the importance of experimentation and failure, and most CEOs will have some personal story about a time when they failed. As a researcher and entrepreneur, I learned a long time ago that negative results are still results, and that they need to be documented and shared. …


Written by Dr Rand Hindi (CEO) & Dr Joseph Dureau (CTO).

*We are updating all the content about the AIR token, stay tuned!

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Our goal at Snips has always been to create voice assistants that are Private by Design: we should know nothing about what our users are doing. This zero-data approach creates a number of challenges however, as training machine learning models does require data in the first place, an excuse often heard from some of the other voice assistants to centralize our personal data.

At Snips, we are solving this problem through a combination of 3 factors:


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In the last few months I have had a chance to dig deep into blockchain, from the technology to the regulation to the governance and tokenomics. Little did I know back then that I would meet the most engaged, positively minded community.

The first thing I discovered is that the crypto community is nothing like the tech community. Most people building and funding serious blockchain projects are not doing it for the money, they are doing it because they believe deep down in the power of self-governed communities to change the world for the better. …


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The new public Snips app store

On July 16, 2018, we updated our online assistant builder to include the public Snips app store. Skills are now called “apps”, and with this update, developers can now build voice apps that will appear on our public app store. The Snips app store gives apps more visibility for community ratings and comments, and enables developers to share their published apps. We’ve included direct links to published apps — just copy and share the URL of your app within the UI for viewing and editing your own apps.

*Spoiler: the Snips app store will be supported by a token-curated marketplace, which we will introduce in another post. …


Using a voice assistant that runs in the cloud exposes you to massive Privacy abuses. Here is how to prevent it.

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This article was originally posted in French in Les Echos

Privacy is back at the forefront. From the upcoming European GDPR regulation on data Privacy to the Cambridge Analytica scandal, it seems clear that both consumer and companies are now taking Privacy seriously.

One particular product category where Privacy concerns keep growing is smart speakers / voice assistants type products such as the Google Home and Amazon Echo. Indeed, now that almost 50M Americans have a microphone connected to the internet in their homes, mass manipulation, surveillance and hacking become real issues to deal with. Just asking users to “trust” a provider is not enough. …


Data Generation is the solution for making assistants smarter

There are two terrible parts to moving into a new apartment. First, is actually getting everything from one place to the next, and second is not knowing how to work any of your new appliances. Last night I prepared the ingredients needed to cook the first meal in my beautiful new kitchen, only to spend an hour in a fight with my oven trying to override the child-proof settings. With my guests first making fun of me, and then simply annoyed and hungry — I thought to myself, there must be a better way…

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The culprit

For decades we have had to learn how each device works. One at a time, every coffee machine, dishwasher, TV, phone, app or website requires us to spend time figuring out how its unique interface and logic works. And most of the time we don’t even use them the right way, hacking our way through instead of using all the built-in features. The more we want to use technology in our daily lives, the more effort and energy it takes. Keeping a mental map of how everything works is simply not scalable. …


An interview with Pierre, Founder and CEO of Keecker

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The first time I heard about Keecker was when they launched their kickstarter campaign in 2014. Back then, we had just started our own company, Snips, and I remember thinking “wow, I hope some day we can work on things like that!”.

Fast forward 3 years and it happened; Keecker chose to integrate Snips for the voice AI in their flagship product: a multimedia robot for the home. From projecting videos on walls and ceilings, to playing music and remotely monitoring the activity in your house, Keecker is a mind-blowing feat of engineering and design.

“Snips worked really well for us. The fact that their on-device technology enables voice interactions even when the robot is offline is a true differentiator for us.” — Pierre Lebeau, Founder and CEO…


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Last week, a bug in the new Google Home Mini made it record everything a journalist said, 24/7.

Lets be clear, all technology has bugs. It’s the reason your apps crash sometimes, or you see some weird glitches on websites. Usually, these bugs are pretty harmless, so we just accept them. But when it comes to a device that sits in your home, listening 24/7 to what you say, it becomes a very big deal. This is exactly what happened to the Google Home Mini. …

About

Rand Hindi

#AI and #Privacy entrepreneur working on Making Technology Disappear. CEO @ Zama.ai. Previously CEO @ Snips.ai (acquired by Sonos).

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