Yandex intends to teach voice assistant Alice other languages apart from Russian. “Kommersant” noticed on the company’s vacancy page ads for employees who will add support for the development of new languages for Alice, as well as teach it language and cultural specifics. Yandex confirmed the information and promised to reveal the details later.
Back in 2018, Yandex was planning to create a version of Alice for the Ukrainian, Belarusian and Kazakh languages. In 2019, the director of Yandex in Uzbekistan, Evgeny Lukyanchikov, announced plans to translate Alice into Uzbek. But due to the pandemic, work on the localization of Alice was stopped.
According to MForum analyst Alexei Boyko, Yandex can rely on markets where the company is already represented by other services, for example, the countries of South America:
From a financial point of view, it is logical to rely on large markets. In addition, a company can use available Spanish corpora or compile their own relatively easily.
However, he admits that Yandex can expand language support in existing markets in order to increase loyalty to the company or by agreement with representatives of government agencies.