Josh.ai Infuses Generative AI into Smart Home Voice Assistant
Smart home automation startup Josh.ai has introduced generative AI to its eponymous voice assistant and app in a new feature called JoshGPT. The upgraded AI is fueled by a customized version of one of OpenAI’s large language models, building on Josh.ai’s experiments with embedding ChatGPT into its system in February.
Josh.ai’s voice assistant has been central to the company’s products since it began as a privacy-centered smart home ecosystem in 2015. The startup pitches its services as a more private alternative to Alexa and Google Assistant for those reluctant to have their data sent to a tech giant’s server. The company then debuted the Josh Core central server in 2020, bringing a natural language understanding engine and significant processing power to Josh.ai homes and further minimizing the need to send data to the cloud. JoshGPT brings the communication capability of ChatGPT and other conversational generative AI tools. The Josh Micro and Nano smart speakers listen and respond as before, but the AI’s flexibility. For instance, commands for information and smart home control can be combined into a single sentence.
JoshGPT is one of several updates to Josh.ai’s privacy-centric smart home ecosystem announced this week. That includes the new Josh Remote, which incorporates the Josh app and connected microphones into a remote control that can also operate a home’s smart TVs. Josh.ai insists that it’s not just a mobile smart speaker. Josh.ai describes it as “the industry’s only multifaceted control system.”
On the software side, the new Intelligent Areas feature gives the AI a better understanding of a home’s layout and how to organize devices and rooms. Josh.ai described how the AI would grasp that a thermostat controls the temperature for multiple rooms so that if a microphone in one of those rooms picks up someone saying, “Hey Josh, I’m cold,” it will raise the temperature on the appropriate device. Users also have a new Device Defaults setting for adjusting what giving an on or off command for a room does.
“Our mission at Josh.ai has always been to build the ultimate interface for simple, private, and magical experiences in the smart home. We are proud to introduce Intelligent Areas, System Setup, and Room Customization as innovative features that represent the culmination of feedback from our network of more than 1,400 certified dealers,” Josh.ai CEO Alex Capecelatro said. “I am excited to empower our dealers with Josh Remote as a hand-held control offering and to transform the landscape of AI-powered assistance with JoshGPT. As the first company to offer the convenience of hands-free access to generative AI, Josh.ai is delivering a supercharged assistant at home and on-the-go for our clients.”