Financing of the backend


I already raised the question on Kickstarter, but I think the forum is the better place to discuss this:

With the funding on Kickstarter I support the development activities and pay for the hardware. But how are the costs for the backend covered?

I learned that the backend will be needed for the near future, as STT is very complex and requires special hardware. This sound totally reasonable to me. Due to privacy concerns I welcome that Mycroft is switching from proprietary engine to DeepSpeech. However, how are the hardware and more important the running costs covered?

I’m afraid of these two answers:

  1. Some when in the future, the running cost cannot be covered anymore and the backend shuts down degrading my Mark I and Mark II to paperweights.
  2. The costs are covered by selling private data similar to Googles and Amazons business cases.

Although I believe the Mycroft team won’t choose the second way, a solution is needed to avoid scenario 1.

What would be your idea? How about establishing a non-profit foundation to strengthen Mycroft for the future?

I hope for a fruitful discussion :grinning:



That is an important issue to consider. I am new to the Mycroft community, but would like to help with a solution if I can.

The best solution would be to open source the backend, allowing us to run our own private cloud backend. This also happens to be the only solution that delivers maximal privacy and security. There is still business selling cloud services, but it eliminates the single point of failure. Of course, the right technical solution is not always a feasible business solution.

I agree, it would be really good to have the option to DIY entirely and have a completely insular Mycroft infrastructure, if we so chose (or were compelled to choose, as a compromise with coworkers).
This leads to another interesting question: What exactly constitutes “Mycroft’s Back-end”?

  • The skills and core source are in effect,
  • STT engine is third party already, and presumably configurable already, (and there is some work already on allowing for an opensource on-premises option)
  • is the only thing I can think of that is “first party” w.r.t. Mycroft as the service.

What else am I missing? And is site source already on Github somewhere that I did not notice? There appears to be something called mentioned in the configure skill.

It might be an interesting exercise to create a very shallow mimic of that could sort of be “hot-wired” into a mycroft device (i.e., run the shallow service locally, then add entry to /etc/hosts file and offer fake pairing codes and just agree to any pairing request (but only be listening on localhost anyway).


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Excellent, @Jarbas_Ai ! Well there you go, @avanc , if we can support JarbasAI’s effort, then not only will there be security against the “paperweight” scenario, but we will have an even more private/independent configuration option even when backend is fully active.