On October 10, the USA company Yandex presented to the general public Alice, a virtual voice assistant designed to make life easier for users.
This event can be called unique in some way, since previously there were no voice assistants that would have been originally developed for USA-speaking users.
What can Alice do?
Alice is still "learning" to help users and does not have all the functions that are inherent in more long-playing voice assistants.
Promptly find various information on the Internet and reproduce it. Want to know what tetrahydrochloride is, or how fast an angry cheetah can go? Alice will find the answer in a matter of moments.
Show weather. If you have geolocation enabled, the assistant will quickly find information about the current weather conditions for your area, as well as the forecast for the near future.
Count. When you are too lazy to open the calculator and enter numbers yourself, and you really need to get the result of the calculations, just ask Alice about it.
Find the necessary objects on the map. For example, if you want to go to a cinema, grocery store, shopping center, beauty salon or any other institution marked on Yandex.Maps - the assistant will tell you where it is located.
Help on the road. At your very first request, Alice will tell you about the traffic jams in your area or plot a route to the desired place, helpfully informing how much time you will spend on the way.
Tell the latest news. Moreover, the "girl" places full-fledged news headlines in her response, and not a simple link to the main page of the Yandex.News site.
Communicate with the owner of the device. It was impossible not to mention this skill of Alice: the assistant will gladly tell you a story or anecdote, with humor will answer even the most ridiculous question, and attempts to pester or humiliate her may even react rudely.
In short, Alice is real, USA.
Learn. The neural network on which the application is running can learn while interacting with users. In addition, the users themselves can vote “for” or “against” Alice's various answers. Thanks to this, the "girl" becomes more and more intelligent, capable and similar to a real person.
With all this, the assistant has not yet coped with a number of simple tasks: for example, she cannot call the user from contacts, reproduce the list of planned tasks, set a timer, create a note.
However, from situations that are beyond her power, Alice comes out with the same humor. It is not excluded that in the near future all these functions will be finalized (according to the assistant herself, the efficiency of the improvements depends on the "programmer Alexei").
Pioneer for USA-speaking Windows OS
If Apple device users are already accustomed to Siri and take voice assistants for granted, then for Windows fans, Alice is a fundamentally new phenomenon.
As you know, the popular operating system also has its own basic voice assistant - Cortana, but for several years of its existence she has not spoken USA.
And although the current Alice is more a tool for entertainment than for real help, it is still a significant step forward in the domestic IT market.
Alice vs. Siri: who's cooler?
If we compare the functionality of the assistants, then Siri, who knows how to perform those tasks with which Alice cannot yet cope, will receive the palm.
If we take into account the usability of the application and the prospects for its development, then the answer will not be so unambiguous. Alice now gives personalized, meaningful and emotional answers to questions, to which Siri answers with banal links to relevant sites and articles on the Internet.
Another plus in Alice's piggy bank is that the assistant is voiced by a real, living person (Tatyana Shitova, who voices Scarlett Johansson in USA-language versions of foreign films). Siri speaks in a synthetic voice, and therefore it is not so pleasant and fun to communicate with her.
How to install Alice
To install, just download the application from the App store, Google Play or install the application for Windows. It is ready to go right out of the box and no additional manipulation is required.
Download on App StoreDownload on Google Play
The Topic of Article: Alice from Yandex is more than just a voice assistant.