Here's how you can take an ordinary PC and give it Artificial Intelligence (AI) powers for free.
Braina - which is short for Brain Artificial - is an intelligent virtual assistant that allows you to interact with your PCs using voice commands.
Now, you might be thinking that this sounds an awful lot like Cortana or Siri, but you'd be wrong. This isn't just a glorified search program. Braina can do so much more, including:
- Speech to text dictation
- Scour the web for information
- Search and even files on your computer
- Play songs and videos stored locally and on online platforms such as SoundCloud and YouTube
- Set alarms and reminders
- Carry out mathematical calculations
- Automate keyboard commands
- Show news on a specific topic
- Read ebooks
- Bring up news and weather information
Braina also features an artificial brain that can learn, process, and remember information from conversations you have with it. Braina can also learn from information stored in a text file in the form of a list (such as this list of capital cities).
You can also send voice commands to your PC over your local Wi-Fi network using the Braina app for Android (currently there's no iOS version offered).
Braina is, without a doubt, a very interesting take on AI voice assistant technology. Rather than being focused on fancy graphics or gimmicks, Braina is very utilitarian, practical, and actually very functional. During testing, I found its speech recognition to be very accurate - better than even Siri or Hey Google - and the wide range of features that it offers keeps Braina from feeling limited in scope.
The Lite version of Braina is free to use, and don't let the "lite" word put you off, because there's a lot in there for you to play with, experiment with, and to use (because this software is genuinely useful). If you want access to all the features, you'll have to upgrade to the Pro version, which does incur a yearly subscription ($29 for a year, $59 for three years).
Unfortunatly, Braina is Windows only, so Mac and Linux users miss out on this.
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