Yandex launches conversational intelligent assistant

Tuesday 10 October 2017 | 11:47 CET | News

Russian internet search engine Yandex has launched new product Alice, a conversational intelligent assistant that is not restricted to a set of predefined scenarios. Alice integrates multiple services to help users efficiently accomplish tasks such as finding information online, recommending places to eat, providing weather forecasts, and supplying directions. Using deep neural networks trained on massive datasets, Alice allows users to interact like they would with another person, with advanced understanding of context. 

The new Yandex AI assistant provides human-like responses showcasing high-level Russian language skills, a distinct personality with a sense of humor, and an ability to understand incomplete phrases and questions. Unlike major voice assistants that are limited to predefined scenarios, it integrates the ability to carry free-flowing 'chit-chat' conversations with users that can surprise and delight them.

Alice’s voice recognition and synthesis rely on SpeechKit, Yandex’s proprietary speech recognition toolkit. Currently, Alice integrates Yandex services, such as Search, News, Weather, Music, and Maps. This list will expand to other Yandex services, such as Taxi, as well as third-party products and services.

Alice is now available in Russian in the Yandex Search app on iOS and Android, as well as in a beta version of Yandex Assistant for Windows. Alice will also soon be integrated in Yandex.Browser, followed by other Yandex products.

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