'Hello Alice': a review of the Yandex voice assistant
'Hello Alice' Yandex was released in October 2017. This article will help you understand the activation, control, voice commands and skills of Alice.
'Hello Alisa' Yandex is a voice assistant designed specifically for Russian-speaking users. Voiced by Tatyana Shitova. The assistant in the form of an add-on to Yandex Browser and a separate application was released in mid-2017. The program is available on Yandex.Station, children's smart watches. A quick guide to use is provided below.
How to use Alice?
It is more convenient to use the voice assistant from your phone or computer. You will not have to spend additional funds on equipment such as Yandex.Station. The functionality on phones and PCs is wider.
On the phone
The assistant will work on a smartphone after installing Yandex Browser or a separate application. You need to go to a search engine or program, and then say 'Hey, Alice Yandex' or 'Hello, Alice'. This is the activation command. Next, a question is asked, in writing or orally.
Combining a command and a greeting is allowed. Examples: 'Alice, hello, what's the weather like today?' or 'Hello Alice, open the internet'. When the conversation is over, you need to say: 'Alice, close your browser.'
On PC and laptop
To start using the program, you need to install the Yandex browser or the application for Windows (it is more convenient to use the first one). Activation procedure:
go to the 'Alice' section in the browser;
select the 'Enable' button, after 20 seconds a round voice assistant icon (or the line 'Voice assistant') will appear in the taskbar;
if this does not happen, you need to click 'Download'.
After opening the voice assistant, you need to enable in the settings section 'Voice activation'.
The application will start to accept voice commands. To enable, use the command 'Hello, Alice' or 'Alice, say hello'. Further requests are voiced:
to read jokes – 'Hello, Alice, tell a joke';
to participate in mini-games – 'Hello, Alice, let's play';
to find out the recipe – 'Name the recipes for Mediterranean dishes';
listen to music – 'Turn on Yandex.radio', etc.
It is not necessary to say 'Hello' at the beginning of every command. As long as the assistant is on, he will answer voice commands even without calling by name. If you need to close the assistant and the browser, you should say 'Alice, close Yandex'.
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Additional video with an overview of the functions and commands of the program:
The full list of skills is displayed in a special catalog, which is updated as new features are moderated from developers. What Alice can do from Yandex:
suggest recipes for dishes;
show information about issued sick leave;
participate in games, run quizzes;
display exchange rates and convert;
order a taxi;
set an alarm;
indicate traffic jams;
display weather forecast;
help with the search for gifts.
These are the basic functions of the voice assistant. If the user is interested in the complete list, when the assistant is activated, ask: 'What can you do?'.
The voice assistant is distributed free of charge, unlike foreign counterparts. You can install the program on the following platforms: iOS, Android, Windows. It is built into the Yandex browser and some partner devices, for example, Sony headphones.
Benefits of the program:
no platform restrictions;
an abundance of skills: from ordering a taxi to helping with business intelligence;
suitable for kids, kids version is customizable;
adjusts to the owner thanks to fine tuning;
in addition to voice input, the standard one also works (using the keyboard);
Alice is not just a search engine, but also an interlocutor.
The monthly audience of the application is 30 million users, which emphasizes its convenience.
What do users ask most often?
According to statistics, most often users in a conversation with an assistant voice the standard phrases: 'Alice, hello, how are you?' or 'Hello Alice, where am I?'. Since the service is often used by children, there are also strange requests: 'Hello, Alice, where are you?', 'Alice, hello, what's your name?'.
You can find out popular queries by asking the corresponding question. In 2019, the following selection is issued:
find me cartoons;
how much does Smart TV cost;
how long to go home;
call a taxi.
Features of the voice assistant
The program is self-learning. The service generates answers based on communication with users, so sometimes rude phrases appear. If the assistant answered incorrectly, put your finger down and type a short comment, with which the complaint is related. Thanks to user input, the assistant will soon become an advanced AI.
Another AI feature is integration with other platforms. Through the assistant, you can order pizza from Papa John's, open VKontakte. From the very moment of launch, other Yandex services are available: weather, traffic jams.