MarketWatch, May 4, 2021. Caspar.AI uses the whole home as a sensor – already existing elements like sensors on switches and appliances. From automated control of lights, shades and temperature to more complex tasks such as fall detection, the Caspar system works without cameras and without “wearables” such as resident pendants.
Privacy-Preserving Distributed AI for Smart Homes
Distributed AI (D-AI) is enabling rapid progress on smart IoT systems, homes, and cities. D-AI refers to any AI system with discrete AI subsystems that can be combined to create ensemble-intelligences. We introduce a Privacy-Preserving IoT Cloud (PPIC) optimized to host D-AI applications on the edge.
Today’s smart homes, cities, and infrastructures are often shoe-horned into cloud-computing architectures created for the Web. This is risky: any system that uploads sensitive data into a data warehouse concentrates secrets. We favor a Privacy-Preserving IoT cloud (PPIC) that decentralizes intelligence, running distributed AI (D-AI) logic at the edge while preventing sensitive data from leaking.
The Caspar.ai PPIC is an execution framework that marries edge-computing (computation near or on IoT devices) with a scalable distributed-AI computing model. Our PPIC framework can host third-party apps, supports multitenancy, and offers scalable services for tasks like object storage. We depart from the cloud model by replacing the centralized datacenter with a decentralized graph, so that sensitive data is never uploaded to the cloud. Smart applications run at the edge, enabling better performance, while policy-driven object filtering blocks unauthorized sharing of sensitive information.
The PPIC is a natural fit to D-AI in smart homes, multi-home developments and smart cities. A PPIC can safeguard privacy while providing scalability and cost efficiency. Here, we illustrate this with a range of tasks: operating a light switch, contextualized voice recognition, and fall detection for the elderly. PPIC can also be used at larger scale, for example to support city-wide coordination of emergency responders during a weather or wildfire emergency, but this paper focuses on functionality already in active use.
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