Cortana gets new competition from Alice, courtesy of Yandex

By: Radu Tyrsina
2 minute read
alice virtual assistant

Digital voice assistants have grown to be very popular over the course of the last several years, having proven to be of great help in various tasks.  Already, many users can’t imagine going back to manually typing inquiries or tapping the screen for all their commands on smartphones.

While most of the world is familiarized with the likes of Siri or Microsoft’s own Cortana, Russian internet users might be a little more familiar with Alice, a brand new digital voice assistant that debuted in Russia. The assistant comes courtesy of Yandex, an important name in the tech and search world in Russia.

It can do what Cortana can

When it comes to actual features, Alice users can expect the same treatment they would get from Cortana itself. The new voice assistant is capable of recording inquiries and answering questions along with suggesting things on her own. For example, it will tell users about places they can enjoy a good bite to eat.

It’s more fluent in Russian than other assistants

Even though the prospect of having a brand new digital assistant is tempting, many wonder if there is any reason to stop using the already available services like Cortana or Siri from Apple. For those that speak Russian or live in Russia, there is. The simplest explanation is that Alice excels at the Russian language in a way that the other assistants can’t.

She is capable of understanding and reacting to incomplete phrases. A human being, specifically a Russian-speaking human being, might have no problem in figuring out what someone wants to say if they stopped in the middle of a sentence.

A digital assistant however, will find that task a lot harder. Not so with Alice, it seems, which makes good use of her native Russian environment to facilitate and cater to the needs of Russian speaking users.

Amazing speech capabilities

Yandex has spoken out to let users know that Alice uses advanced speech recognition technologies. It would seem the team behind Alice has put so much work and effort into making her act and react like a normal human being which they actually managed to create the most accurate language recognition system for the Russian language in particular.

Speaking of language recognition software, if you’re interested to learn more about the best speech recognition tools for Windows 10, check out this list.

It will be interesting to see if there will be any more digital voice assistants surfacing in the near future. It’s safe to say that this form of technology has definitely grown roots and that developers from around the world are ready to provide their own twists on the concept.


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