Who Is Alice?

Alice is Yandex’s voice assistant. Created in partial response to Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa, Alice is designed to work in Russian-speaking territories. Alice got there first and she’s been doing really well since the launch.

Google Assistant has also been gaining a lot of ground and is on par with them in terms of technology and quality, but it doesn’t work in Russia (neither does Amazon) which makes Alice a more attractive option for Russians. She works with advertisers, manufacturers, meaning cameras, doorbells – basically the entire home ecosystem.

There are a few reasons why Alice is already better than the others.

Alice has the most detailed local integration

Alice lives in the vacuum of Yandex’s ecosystem, whereas Amazon and Google live outside it. This means that Alice is able to give voice commands for Yandex services right away, without any additional configuration or integration efforts. She also knows a lot about Russian culture and habits (more on that below) which makes her more responsive.

It’s important to point out here that since all of these assistants, including Google Assistant are built on open source platforms (such as Wit.ai), the code can easily be used to integrate them into third party platforms.

Alice has great design

The current design of the assistants rely heavily on different colour combinations and gradients, as you would expect. But Alice’s design is by far the prettiest one. It uses not just color but also white space to enhance its appeal, and it feels visually lighter and fluffier than any other assistant on the market.

Alice understands Russian jokes better than any of her competitors

Alice knows that in Russia you add ‘ne?’ – a question tag – at the end of pretty much every sentence (which is almost 15% longer than average).

On top of that, she knows where Russians put the emphasis (it’s tricky to explain, but you should watch this video):

She also knows Russian phrases and colloquialisms and can draw on them for responses. For example, she knows that Russians love Russian jokes with strange endings: for example: “Don’t cry over spilled milk. It only makes stains on the pillow!” With a simple voice command you can access this list of responses.

Alice is continually learning

Alice got there first and she is getting more popular every day, working with advertisers and manufacturers – cameras, doorbells, etc – basically the entire home ecosystem.

On top of that, she’s getting more and more intelligent, learning and adapting to Russian culture and habits.

Alice embraces artificial intelligence

The idea is that as AI gets more advanced, users will be able to have a conversation with their assistants. A sort of chatbot experience. This kind of conversational interaction will be much more natural (as opposed to typing out every detail) which means that they will turn into real helpers for the user.

Alice got there first and she is being loved more and more every day – working with advertisers and manufacturers – cameras, doorbells, etc – basically the entire home ecosystem.

Dan Taylor
Dan Taylor is an experienced SEO consultant and has worked with brands and companies on optimizing for Russia (and Yandex) for a number of years. Winner of the inaugural 2018 TechSEO Boost competition, webmaster at HreflangChecker.com and Sloth.Cloud, and founder of RussianSearchNews.com.