Recently, using my Windows support laptop, I got to play with Cortana. I think it is far from the Siri version of iOS (the one on macOS I think it is too), but at times it can be very useful and productive. macOS also introduced Siri in Sierra, so we could say that Linux's main rivals already have their voice assistant. What about Linux? It seems that they do not give importance to this function, but not all projects think alike.
Deepin is a project that creates both a graphical environment as an operating system. It is not something as old as GNOME or Plasma (before KDE), but they are doing many things and presenting more than interesting proposals. The last one is its own voice assistant, one that seems quite intelligent and that gives us the long teeth that we would like to have something like that in the Linux distribution that we are already using.
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Different Linux projects should work on their own voice assistant
In the video above, got by Jason Evangelho, we can see a demo of what the voice assistant Deepin is working on is. The video is in Chinese, but thanks to Evangelho we know that it shows a user asking questions and receiving answers, both by voice and by text. Its operation is very reminiscent of the aforementioned Cortana for Windows and Siri for macOS. During the video it is also demonstrated that this wizard can interact with the system settings, which means that we can activate or deactivate options using only your voice. This is something that we can see at a time when you are asked to change the wallpaper, something that it does automatically and without navigating the system preferences.
The list of what he does in the video is as follows:
- He asks what he can do and he clarifies it.
- Change the wallpaper.
- Change the brightness level, which makes us think that it will also work with other values such as the audio volume.
- Make inquiries about the Stock Market. When asked what he can do, he also mentions that we can ask about the weather.
- Create and send emails.
- Remember what has been asked before. There is a moment when he asks what the weather is like in Wuhan, he replies, the user asks "and about Beijin?" and it also responds to you.
Why don't other distributions do the same?
We can hate or love Microsoft and Apple more or less, but there are a couple of things that are fine: their services in the cloud and integration. It does nothing, I formatted Windows and was able to recover the settings just by resetting my Outlook ID. In addition, it has its own mail, storage, etc., which integrates seamlessly into the system without installing third-party software. Apple has the same, even better, with an entire ecosystem that extends to its mobiles, tablets, TV, watches and even speakers.
Linux is a totally different world. Most are open source and don't focus on these things, like a worthwhile cloud (we end up depending on Google) or a good voice assistant. There are several wizard projects on Linux, but we just have to try Almond or any other to realize that it is not worth making life so complicated during the installation because of the little they offer. In fact, I considered writing about Almond and was put off by all the steps I had to go through knowing that it offers very little.
For all the above, I think that a voice assistant is something that would be nice to have as an option, but it is not easy for us to see a quality one in Linux. To do this, one of two would be necessary: that the big companies will work side by side to develop one that many distributions would later implement or work on your own. The latter is the easiest, but I can hardly imagine, for example, Canonical saying that they are working on a virtual assistant that we can use in the short term. Never say Never. Hopefully, this Deepin movement motivates the community.
Would you like to have a voice assistant like Deepin in your Linux distribution?
6 comments, leave yours
not even windosers use cortana, I've seen many who say that. they don't use it
therefore I don't think it's worth making a voice assistant
The truth is that voice assistants, in general, I find them a monumental nonsense and a waste of time, beyond being silly for a while, in Linux it is not exactly because in Linux they do not waste time with absurd, unproductive and useless nonsense in its use, etc.
I do not use it and I would recommend if you want to apply a new project to go to vr that has more future and there is almost nothing in linux.
You may not use it, but you cannot imagine what makes life easier for blind people ... if everyone thought so selfishly, the orca would not exist. A 10 for deepin, because although they may do it only to imitate another operating system, anyone could integrate it into accessibility environments.
Undoubtedly great news, congratulations to deepin, and an amalgam of possibilities opens up for various projects, for the help of people with different abilities and also for tasks where the user keeps their hands occupied the echo of being able to advance to work just dictation, it's great.
Some time ago I started to keep track of a voice assistant for gnu / linux, Mycroft, it can be installed in a more or less usable way and it is also integrated in some devices with speaker, Amazon Echo roll, Google home, etc. https://mycroft.ai/