Monica Lam, professor of computer science and director of the Open Virtual Assistant Lab at Stanford, is building a new entrant to the virtual assistant market, one that differs significantly from existing assistants in three ways. First, it is based on new, cutting-edge voice recognition technology developed in Lam’s lab that is more flexible and adaptable than the technology used by Google and Amazon. Second, Lam’s technology is privacy-preserving, keeping consumer data safely and securely out of the hands of private actors. Third, Lam’s technology sits atop a fully open network, allowing any vendor to develop apps for the platform. This is in stark contrast with the closed networks operated by Apple and Google. Funds from this grant will allow Lam and her team to continue to develop their technology, making improvements to accuracy and speed, the detection and handling of errors, and the handling of unexpected inputs. In addition, grant funds will enable Lam to pilot the technology’s first real world application for consumers.