MyVolumio AI Voice Assistant

The place where to discuss about MyVolumio features, find useful informations and express wishes on what you want it to be

Do you think that an Artificial Intelligence Voice Assistance will be cool on MyVolumio?

YES, go along and do it!
13
48%
NO, I can't bother less
14
52%
 
Total votes : 27


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MyVolumio AI Voice Assistant

Postby michelangelo » Tue Oct 09 2018 15:44

Dear Volumio people!


As anticipated last week, we are really happy to announce a new partnership to develop what we think is a super cool addition to MyVolumio: a Voice Controlled assistant powered by Artifical Intelligence to control Volumio!

To quote from the original Announcement made at World Summit AI 2018 in Amsterdam:

Volumio, the most popular Audiophile Music Player distribution for the famous credit-card-size Raspberry PI computer, with more than 160k users worldwide is about to launch its widely anticipated cloud ecosystem: MyVolumio, which will allow music lovers to enjoy their Hi Resolution music collections leveraging all new possibilities offered by cloud computing.

MyVolumio has seen a number of HI-Level partnerships during its development phase, such as the increasingly popular QOBUZ Music Streaming Service and connectivity provider startup Serveo.

Volumio is happy to announce that CloudConstable is joining the team of innovators to elevate MyVolumio capabilities to a new level by introducing their AI technology into the mix.

CloudConstable is competing in the $5 Million IBM Watson AI XPRIZE, a global competition challenging teams to develop and demonstrate how humans can collaborate with powerful AI technologies to tackle the world’s Grand Challenges. CloudConstable’s goal is to make the world a better place by connecting family & friends and enabling their sharing of digital content, while protecting them from cyberthreats. Our animated AI superhero, CloudGirl, is the social conscience of our social network.

- Working with MyVolumio to bring AI Assistant voice skills to the leading Cloud based music player platform is a foundational first step towards delivering the full promise of our protective collaboration platform. We’re proud to work with the Volumio team to help make AI part of the music listening experience of users around the world! - said Michael Pickering, CEO of CloudConstable.

The goal of such cooperation is to bring Volumio users the ability to discover and experience their music collection simply talking to a AI voice operated assistant: say and play, as some will call it.

But of course, the quest of Volumio and CloudConstable for the next musical experience will not stop there: being Volumio an Open Source project with a vibrant and active community the development of features of this new AI assistant will be tailored to the effective needs of users, by listening to their wishes, ideas, suggestions and concerns.
This has therefore all the potential to bring disruptive applications of Artificial Intelligence in the media industry.

- We are really excited to work together with CloudConstable to craft the music listening experiences of tomorrow. I definitely see a huge innovation potential within the mix of CloudConstable’s AI expertise and our tradition of community-driven feature design - said Michelangelo Guarise, Volumio CEO.

The AI service provided by CloudConstable will be made available as a free, open beta to all MyVolumio subscribers starting from later this year.


So, as you can see, there are some great news here:

- Cloud Constable will develop an AI Voice Assistant and integrate it into MyVolumio
- It will be available to MyVolumio users with a paid plan (as a free addition until sometimes next spring)
- We look forward to make something which makes sense for music lovers, so the community contribution is a vital part of this new adventure.

Our idea is fairly simple: add a voice control facility to Volumio's UI which will allow you to do things like "Volumio, play Tom Wait's last album" or "Volumio stop" or again "Volumio mute".

Now, before committing to this project we really want to get the opinion of you guys on this:
Is this something you want to be integrated in MyVolumio?
Is this something that can make your listening experience better?
Do you have some ideas for cool things that you see this technology will enable you to do?

Let us know!

BRAINSTORMING SUM

- No always on voice assistant (maybe selectable via a button on the UI?)
- Evaluate the chance of integrating existing voice controls like Alexa or Siri
- A good feature is understanding musical tastes to offer recommendations
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MyVolumio AI Voice Assistant

Postby CloudConstable » Wed Oct 17 2018 13:29

I'm going to abstain from voting in the poll as I'm obviously biased, but I wanted to take this opportunity to introduce myself to the Volumio community, and further reinforce Michelangelo's message. We really think that the addition of AI and voice control is going to add to the overall enjoyment of the Volumio user community.
Bringing our AI technology into the Volumio platform is also a key milestone towards our overall mission of connecting families & friends and enabling their sharing of digital content, while protecting them from cyberthreats. Our animated AI superhero, CloudGirl, will be the social conscience of our social network.
So another question for all of you to consider is whether having a customizable, animated AI persona included in the platform would be useful or valuable. We're already experimenting with creating a "DJ" persona named Viola for Volumio users, and even have some ideas about how to give her some interesting DJ skills through using machine learning technology. Of course, all of this would be customizable per user or even just turned off if preferred.
So, who wants to hear more about this concept? Any ideas whether this would be something to integrate right into the existing Volumio UI, or would it best be built as an entirely separate add on app?
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MyVolumio AI Voice Assistant

Postby chrisrm9208 » Wed Oct 17 2018 16:21

I voted 'No' because the idea of having something listening all the time in my house is anathema. It might be quick and useful in some circumstances but it's a witness to *everything* that goes on within the hearing range of the device. At some point, *someone* will gain access to it for reasons that I don't know or approve of; that's just the sloppy nature of the cloud. Note how small the sales of smart speakers are in China. That's not lack of money, it's simply that they want some part of their life to be private from the government.
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MyVolumio AI Voice Assistant

Postby JohnW » Wed Oct 17 2018 17:51

chrisrm9208 wrote:I voted 'No' because the idea of having something listening all the time in my house is anathema. It might be quick and useful in some circumstances but it's a witness to *everything* that goes on within the hearing range of the device. At some point, *someone* will gain access to it for reasons that I don't know or approve of; that's just the sloppy nature of the cloud. Note how small the sales of smart speakers are in China. That's not lack of money, it's simply that they want some part of their life to be private from the government.


I COMPLETELY agree with you here!!! I would NEVER sacrifice privacy for convenience... Its a sad world where others seem not to care about privacy - where so many have fought for the right of Privacy!
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MyVolumio AI Voice Assistant

Postby Rees » Wed Oct 17 2018 19:17

I voted no as well but I would like to provide more context as I am clearly not the target audience for such a feature, and I think there are simply 2 camps out there for this type of stuff.

I have a personal android phone and I don't use any of the baked in Google assistant or whatever they call it this month. I had to go in through dozens of settings that were hidden away in various menus to turn off all of the tracking features that just wasted my data and annoyed me. For example if I were to eat at a restaurant without searching for it on the phone, and not even pulling the phone out of my pocket, I was receiving notifications to post pictures and write reviews of the restaurant. Presumably my phone took it upon itself to monitor my location and report it to google (cloud?) and they used AI to determine I must have eaten there based on the duration I remained stationary.

I'm not niave about things - I'm 99.9% positive that Spotify is using an AI cloud based system to generate a profile of my music listening to generate daily mix and other dynamic playlists and it is fantastic.

So, I would like to suggest that you should revise or expand your description about this project to include more about potential features alongside the AI assistant function with a clear note that the "listening" can be completely disabled. I don't see any reason why all of the voice commands you noted in your initial post couldn't be typed as text (you'll need this for hearing impaired folks anyway). This way both camps of individuals will support this great initiative.
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MyVolumio AI Voice Assistant

Postby hetbeest » Wed Oct 17 2018 20:04

I voted no because I don’t use myVolumio (yet) and I already use Siri and Alexa. I don’t need another voice assistant in my house. I’d rather see a good and easy to install integration of Volumio, not myVolumio, with Alexa or Siri.
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MyVolumio AI Voice Assistant

Postby michelangelo » Wed Oct 17 2018 22:29

Thank you guys for the very constructive replies, that's exactly the kind of debate I was hoping for.
I'll set up a short "tag cloud" of all the points coming up in the discussion in the first post so we have an handy sum of this brainstorming.

Personally, I really want to understand if our community thinks an AI Assistant will be good or not for Volumio before committing the time and effort to make it happen. And if yes, what should it do and to which extent.

I was expecting the privacy topic (as some pointed out, this is our day and age most frightening issue) and couldn't agree more with that. I have myself a lot of Voice assistant gadgets (Amazon echo and similia) and just can't keep them turned on knowing they listen to everything I say.

The idea (at least the early ideas I have on my mind) is to have a voice button on the UI (therefore user selectable and not always on) to perform voice operated commands and queries.

The rationale here is that for some complex actions and queries, voice commands can be more handy and quick than touchscreens and keyboard. However, I admit that this alone is not a point strong enough to make it happen.

Appreciate also the suggestion of integrating existing voice assistants such as google and amazon's rather than having our own. From a technical standpoint now that we have MyVolumio that will be fairly trivial (it won't be possible with ordinary Volumio for mere networking reasons). However, with those services we could not get more than play this or search for that.

Don't forget that Voice control is not the real deal here: there's a powerful AI component and this is the hot topic. CloudConstable is using IBM Watson's AI tech (basically the state of the art of AI as of now).

This means that we have a chance here to do something tailored to what we think is going to be cool for our music consumption habits with the help of AI. It means to be able to do something that ordinary voice assistant can't do, and do it in a way dedicated to music discovery and listening.

Thing is, as of now the only cool idea I had was "Search me this album of this artist of this year", and this is probably not enough, so let's see if we have some more ideas on the topic (aka what AI + Voice commands can be good for in our use case).
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MyVolumio AI Voice Assistant

Postby chrisrm9208 » Thu Oct 18 2018 17:01

Looking at the common use cases for AI VAs, personalization remains the most frequent one. This is an overview from the BPI about where they see AI going in the music industry (https://www.musictank.co.uk/wp-content/ ... report.pdf). From p.12 onwards, there's a discussion of automated curation of playlists and music discovery. I think that this is the most appropriate use for MyVolumio's intended AIVA, especially if you can get MyVolumio to be omnipresent within the music context. Having one 'control surface' that plays my music, no matter what the player/device, is something that those of us with more than one remote control would leap at.

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MyVolumio AI Voice Assistant

Postby CloudConstable » Sun Oct 21 2018 01:46

FWIW, I do understand the privacy concerns. It is of course a tradeoff against convenience, and our plan isn't to make using the AI Assistant mandatory by any means. However, I can say that I've experimented with an Amazon Alexa device that uses a physical button to initiate the voice interaction, and found that it tends to be less convenient than just letting Alexa listen all the time.
I will say that by using IBM Watson instead of one of the other consumer services we will have more control over what happens to the audio stream and voice transcription data once it's been processed by our service. Of course, anyone who doesn't want to use the service could simply disable it, and we could even default it to disabled by default if that is the more popular choice.
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MyVolumio AI Voice Assistant

Postby Rees » Sun Oct 21 2018 05:29

I think it's also worth pointing out that one of the most popular Volumio devices seems to be the Raspberry Pi which doesn't have any built in microphone capability. Anybody with serious privacy concerns just wouldn't add a mic to their hardware.

Does the Volumio team have plans on rolling out their own branded hardware (or partner/recommend someone elses) with a nice long range microphone array similar to a smart speaker like echo or google home?

Other than dedicated hardware it would need to be activated by a phone app which would also need to be implemented on multiple platforms ultimately. I'm curious what the team has in mind.
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