Production Director Artox Media Digital Group Alexey Ciechocinek made a detailed overview of voice assistants, and also predicted the nature and frequency of consumption by the Russians in the future.

Delving into the history

The growth rate of the market of voice assistants, according to the Group, exceeds the rate of growth of the IT market as a whole: voice assistants have become an undeniable trend that continues to gain momentum.

However, the voice recognition technology was developed long before the advent of the world for today’s voice assistants. It all began in 1952, when it was announced the advent of the first voice recognition of numbers, was developed by company Bell.

Later the world saw a tool called Shoebox, which was presented to IBM at the world fair in Seattle in 1962. The development was able to perform mathematical functions, as well as to recognize 16 spoken words and the digits from 1 to 9.

The next step was the decision of the Harpy, created by scientists from the University Carnegie Mellon in the 1970-ies already recognize 1011 words that match the vocabulary of a three year old. Once you have created technology that can recognize a sequence of words, companies have started to create applications for them.

During the 1990-ies such companies as IBM, Apple and others engaged in the development of solutions that use voice recognition: in 1993, Apple released the Macintosh PlainTalk technology, and in April 1997, Dragon introduced a solution to convert to text 100 words per minute.

Further development went in the direction of solutions for the smart home: in November 2014, Amazon has introduced the smart speaker Alexa. Two years later, in November of 2016, Google released Google Home, and in February of 2018 this market came in and Apple by presenting Apple HomePod.

What is the market for voice assistants in Russia today?

Voice assistants most often used in promocash. Brands use this technology to create a reason, which then spread through traditional advertising tools. In this case, voice assistants are used rather for the sake of attracting attention to the brand than to solve business problems, and this is a standard phase characteristic of the use of most new technologies.

However, to date there are very real cases when using voice assistants achieved specific business goals.

For example, “MegaFon” uses a virtual assistant “Helen”, to reduce the load on their call centers. Elena helps customers to get information and solve simple tasks in the management of their accounts. For example, the assistant may help to know the current balance, the number of megabytes, minutes and SMS for your number to get a statement of costs, learn about the connected services, disable unnecessary, pick up a new fare, and pay the bills. Daily Elena handles about 75 thousand customer requests, approximately 45 thousand of which serves independently, without resorting to the help of contact center operators.

Similar functionality has recently launched voice assistant “Oleg” from the “Tinkoff”, which can transfer money to accounts to book a table at a restaurant, write in beauty salons, to buy movie tickets, change user data in the ecosystem of the Bank to order and send e-mail documents and also chat for free themes, to advise on banking products and to give advice on the basis of information from “Tinkoff-journal”.

Despite the existence of barriers to the use of voice assistants in the near future sees the possibility of a separate segment of digital Commerce to V-commerce or Voice Commerce. We predict that people will increasingly use voice assistants for transactional operations: ordering food and products, no fees, purchase of certain categories of goods.

In mid-June Group in test mode, launched its own voice assistant named Mary. So far, it performs standard queries, helping to find the necessary information in the Internet, play music, check the weather, the cost of airline and train tickets, as well as what movies are in the movie. “Marusya” will be trained using neural networks. The developers expect that in the future, the assistant will be integrated into other products Group.

Soon the voice assistant will appear in the state sector and plans to launch a voice assistant for the portal “public Services Business”, which will be able to track the status of submitted applications and perform online communication with government representatives. Over their own voice assistants also work as Gazprombank, Sberbank and Wildberries.

Although new players again and again appear on the Russian market for voice assistants, the undisputed leader is still “Alice”, the daily audience which as of January 2019 has a population of 8 million, and the monthly — 35 million unique users. “Alice” is integrated into the various services, used on devices from other manufacturers and amenable to training.

For any brand creating skills on the platform of “Yandex. Conversations” is an opportunity to use another way of providing services to attract additional traffic, information customer, reduce the load on the call center, lead generation and easy retrieval at the offices of the company at a relative low cost. To launch skills required one of the applications in which embedded voice assistant “Alice”. It is worth noting that to date, Alice has more than 28 thousand skills.

Skill OSAO “Ingosstrah”Together with “Ingosstrakh” we have developed a skill for insurance for travel abroad by forwarding the website to make a purchase and awareness of other company products.

Skill development took place in four stages:

1) Preparatory

development and approval of scenarios сервера2) application Development

the formation / adaptation of the base danihelkova navigatetopage навыка3) Moderation skill

passage of moderationist when необходимости4) further development and support skill

updating denigrative stages of the script + re-moderation

Plans for the development of the skill of “Ingosstrakh” is the extension of the products and the possibility of receiving consultations on emerging issues.

Some statistics around the world

Voice search is commonly used on a variety of devices — smartphones, tablets, navigation devices, computers, speakers, TV consoles and smart watches. It is important to note that at the moment their usage is less fundamental and more primitive queries such as the search for the answer to the question, checking the weather, sending a message.

Users fear the use of voice assistants such serious processes, such as payment of purchases. According to PwC, only 10% of respondents regularly buy and order anything with voice assistants, and 50% did.

This barrier is associated with the confidence factor, which is in the TOP 3 reasons why people still rarely experimenting with voice assistants. This is mainly the reason for the insufficient knowledge about the full range of opportunities, lack of trust and a large number of doubts due to the complexity and cost.

However, if we talk about shopping, PwC argues that using voice assistants users often order a delivery of food and products, and practically ignore the possibility of booking tickets and hotels, as well as buying clothes, though, and consider this option in the future.

Neposledovatelen that competition promotes the rapid development of any product. And of course, the more players entering the market for voice assistants, presenting their solutions, the more intelligent become technology competitors. Therefore in the Russian market in the near future with the launch of new products of other advertisers are expected to progress from existing products.

Since the advent of each new it takes some time until people adapt to it. So it is with voice assistants. In the next few years the barriers, which most of the audience does not use technology will be addressed.

And since voice search implies a dialog box queries the existence of a wider semantic core, soon will need to pay special attention to a more thorough SEO, because according to the forecasts of analytical companies, the market growth is objectively inevitable.

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