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Snips launches ‘private by design’ AI assistant to take the hassle out of… thinking

As a busy professional, you’ll no doubt be dipping in and out of apps all day – and likely be distracted perhaps every minute by a new notification.

But Snips is here to save the day. Launching today on iOS, it reckons it’s going to be the artificial assistant that will kill all the rest of them.

The initial “memory layer” that people can download and try out will increasingly understand, organise and link your activity on your phone so that, when you fire up the app, it’ll be able to anticipate the actions you want to make.

It links calendars, contacts, your location and reservations, as well as being able to recall instructions it’s previously received in order to autofill things like addresses.

Using Snips, you will be able to see where your next meeting is and who it’s with, order an Uber to get there and send a text to say you’re on your way without leaving the app. So far, so creepy.

Snips is going up against something like Google Now – but its killer feature could be that the company says it’s ‘private by design’.

The AI only analyses your data locally on your handset, so the company claims it’ll never be sent into the cloud or onto private servers.

But it’s by no means finished. The next step is adding natural-language capabilities so that it’ll be able to understand and execute voice commands.

Founded as an AI innovation lab in 2013 by University College London graduate Rand Hindi, Snips has been a reasonably long time in development.

It developed its early tech, rather interestingly, by working with France’s SNCF to build an app that predicts seat availability on trains using things like weather, bank holidays and population metrics.

His goal is that if you tell your smartphone “I need to go home,” it’ll know exactly what to do next.

“I strongly believe in a future where Artificial Intelligence will manage technology for us, allowing people to live their lives with the feeling of being unplugged,” Hindi says.

The company has so far raised a pretty substantial $6.3m seed round.

NS Tech has got the app downloaded and ready to try – here’s to never having to remember anything ever again?