I don’t think we’ll call virtual assistants done until we can say, “Make me a sandwich” (without adding “sudo”) and have a sandwich made and delivered to us while sitting in front of our televisions. However, they are not completely without use as they are currently – they can let you know the time, weather and traffic, schedule or remind you of meetings and they can also be used to order things from Amazon. [Pat AI] was interested in building an open source, extensible, virtual assistant, so he built P-Brain.
Think of P-Brain as the base for a more complex virtual assistant. It is designed from the beginning to have more skills added on in order to grow its complexity, the number of things it can do. P-Brain is written in Node.js and using a Node package called Natural, P-Brain parses your request and matches it to a ‘skill.’ At the moment, P-Brain can get the time, date and weather, it can get facts from the internet, find and play music and can flip a virtual coin for you. Currently, P-Brain only runs in Chrome, but [Pat AI] has plans to remove that as a dependency. After the break, [Pat AI] goes into some detail about P-Brain and shows off its capabilities. In an upcoming video, [Pat AI]’s going to go over more details about how to add new skills.
[Pat AI]’s ideas for P-Brain seem similar to those of the Jasper project, ie., to build an open source virtual assistant that runs on cheap hardware and rivals the virtual assistants developed by Amazon, Apple and Google, among others. It’s still early in P-Brain’s development, but P-Brain can already do plenty of things. Hopefully, as [Pat AI] and others develop new skills for P-Brain, it will give the others some stiff competition.
[Update] – [Pat AI] has already put up an update video where he shows off P-Brain running outside of Chrome.