Rewind AI sounds like every privacy regulator’s worst nightmare. But the company behind this software that records everything you do on your laptop promises not to snoop on your data.
What if there was an AI tool that could listen to everything you said, heard, and did, and could play it back to you? And you could ask it questions about it, Chat GPT-style. This is not science fiction, but Rewind AI.
Your Personal Database
Rewind AI uses your laptop’s microphone and webcam to make everything you’ve seen, said, or heard searchable. If you’ve had an important Zoom call and your boss has asked you to take action on something, but you forgot some of the details, Rewind has your back.
With Rewind AI, long gone are the days when you have to spend hours retracing your steps to find that funny YouTube video or website you visited during your lunch break.
Rewind provides not just a list of personal data, but also an assistant powered by GPT-4 that lets you ask questions and engage with what you’ve done. For example, “What did I do last Friday?” Or, “What genre of books was I browsing on Amazon yesterday?” It is billed as a 24/7 virtual assistant.
For now, the program works only on Mac laptops with Apple Silicon. iOS, Android, Windows, and Linux are not currently supported.
While this limits its usability, there are clearly more privacy concerns that need to be worked out before Rewind makes its way to mobile. A laptop can be easily turned off and put to one side, while our cell phones accompany us virtually everywhere in our pockets.
The biggest challenge to Rewind AI’s success is the amount of privacy afforded to users. Software that records such personal information may well raise alarm bells. However, the company behind the tool has done a lot to mitigate these concerns.
The tool uses compression, Automated Speech Recognition (ASR), and Optical Character Recognition (OCR) to gather the data. All this happens locally and is not stored on the cloud. According to Rewind AI, this means that, as a company, they do not have access to personal data, even if they are subpoenaed.
You can delete this locally stored data at any time. You can also exclude certain apps or websites from the data collection. For example, you can set it not to record visits to websites made on incognito or private browsing.
The only part of the data that is stored in the cloud is selective highlights sent to GPT-4 to generate an answer. Only the text of the most relevant moments is sent.
According to Rewind AI, “A search is done locally to find the most relevant moments based on your question. Rewind sends only the text from those moments to OpenAI in order to generate an answer to your question. No video recordings or audio files ever leave your machine.”
Pricing is via subscription. The basic $10 model includes 10 Rewinds Per Month, Unlimited Recordings, Unlimited Transcription, and Unlimited Devices.
A premium version at $30 offers no usage cap. Users are also promised the CEO’s phone number for customer support.
Rewind AI is built by a small team operating across the US and Canada. The founders are Brett Bejcek, a data scientist and consultant with stints at Spotify and PwC, and Dan Siroker, a former Director of Analytics for President Obama’s first presidential campaign in 2008 and product manager at Google.