Google has teamed with Artificial Intelligence Yourself (AIY) to bring Google’s AI to the masses. This is Google’s first collaboration on a hobbyist project, with core directives to use affordable and open-source materials. Powered by the Raspberry Pi 3, a credit-card sized computer, the AIY Voice Kit is meant to be a development and teaching tool for artificial intelligence tinkerers. Billy Rutledge, Director of AIY Projects, wrote on the Google developer website, “We are continually inspired by how Makers use Google technology to do crazy, cool new things. Things we would've never imagined doing ourselves, things that solve real world problems. After talking to Maker community members, we learned that many were interested in using artificial intelligence in projects, but didn't know where to begin. To address this gap, we're launching AIY Projects: do-it-yourself artificial intelligence for Makers.” They also hope it "will help the next generation of engineers develop the expertise the industry needs."
The low-cost hardware components and open-source software are meant to encourage rapid prototyping of IoT devices. The AIY Voice Kit includes hardware for audio capture and playback and runs on the open-source Google Cloud Speech API and Google Assistant SDK. The Voice Kit could be used to replace physical buttons on devices or to add voice recognition to assistive technologies. In an interview with TechNewsWorld, Michael Jude, program manager at Stratecast/Frost & Sullivan wrote, "natural language processing is the future of consumer electronics, if the IoT is going to take off, it has to be easy to use. A voice interface achieves this by making intelligent devices able to interact naturally with humans.”