The family voice assistants the addition of his assistant last week introduced the company Mail.ru Group. A girl called “Mary”. This is the third voice assistant on the Russian market, who knows how to talk on free themes. Why the interest of companies to seemingly excessive product?

By 2023, predicts Juniper Research in the world will use 8 billion voice assistants — one person will have two or three assistants, and the number of active users will reach 3-4 billion people. Today among voice assistants for smart columns is dominated by Amazon’s Alexa and Google Assistant for smartphones — Google Assistant and Siri from Apple.

In varying degrees, conversational AI will affect all businesses and all users. In ResearchAndMarkets expect that in three or four years, the global market for virtual assistants and skills for them will grow four times, to $9 billion

And talk?

Today, especially popular voice bots in the segment of customer support: global spending on contact centers, according to Everest Group, are estimated at $330 billion a year. That is a savings in the contact center explained the launch of its voice assistant “Tinkoff”.

His assistants start the tour operators, retailers, FMCG-brands. Specialized assistants advise customers, collect orders and carry out HR functions: the virtual assistant “Megaphone” Elena, voice skill “Papa John” to order pizza via “Alice” or HR assistant in Russian KFC, which frees recruiters from the processing of “empty” applications.

“Specialized voice assistant will soon become an important competitive advantage: will have the value of the quality of the skills of their UX (user experience). The client will prefer the delivery service, whose voice service easier, more interesting, smarter, and faster than others. Develop your own voice application, skill, starts from 300 000 rubles in complex cases — for example, the introduction from the online stores with a large assortment of — the project cost could reach 10-15 million rubles. But to create a skill or action for business is incomparably simpler than the assistant top-level — sufficient to find a technology partner to pick up a good platform to think through the integration and start-up phases”, — said Petrov.

Initially, voice assistants was to simplify and speed up the search, however, the early dialogues of users with Siri, it became clear that the conversation as such to consumers a special value. Yandex, launched its “Alice”, later took into account the errors of the pioneers of the industry, providing its voice assistant developed functional chit-chat or “shoutbox”. “Alice” is able, for example, to tell tongue twisters, “to include good sound”, “chat” and say a toast. “Yandex” deep and elaborate the discussions with the users, its giving “Alice” a distinctive and colorful character. And this has borne fruit — now the chat is one of the most requested features “Alice”, significantly increasing the interest of users and favorably distinguishing it even from foreign competitors”, — says Kirill Petrov. Chat on free themes may “Oleg” from the “Tinkoff”.

Why Mail.ru Marusya?

“Marusya”, which cost Mail.ru $2 million, not able to chat on the free theme, but in Mail.ru promise her to teach. Among the priority functions, which the company promised to teach “Marusya” will be able to listen to the “news Mail.ru” to order food from Delivery Club, or call a taxi, but in the future, the company is ready to integrate the services of other companies.

“Marusya” will become Mail.ru not just an additional channel of communication with the users, and excellent business ability, — said the managing Director of Just AI Kirill Petrov. In contrast to the “Yandex” in the Arsenal of services Mail.ru Group there are two of the most popular Russian social network “Odnoklassniki” and “Vkontakte”, and their audience, especially the young and progressive part of it, it will be easy to bring in “Marusya”. In addition, both the social network is also a great experience monetization: games and entertainment, which can be transformed under conversational interfaces, huge traffic and advertising Analytics, already implemented payment mechanics”.

“While the market is formed and users are only familiar with the voice assistants, getting used to a new paradigm of communication, but as soon as there are user experience, the market will begin to grow rapidly. Involvement in social networks is much higher than the same taxi services,” — said the owner of the company OMMG Technology (developer platform for instant messengers) Sergey Kravtsov. However, he said, voice assistants can be used to simplify the work with different services Mail.Ru from cards to food delivery. The development of AI will lead to more complex scenarios of communication and, consequently, to increase the loyalty of users to the technology.

“Voice assistant is the same commercial product like SMS or any other Internet business, so as soon as he grows up and starts to benefit, it will sell”, says Kravtsov.

As it will “grow wiser” it can be connected to the Internet services for the Commission. For example, online retailers can integrate “Marusya” on their websites that will allow you to make purchases using voice commands.

“It is important not just to offer you the ecosystem, but also to create attractive conditions of work. If you remember, for example, the mobile application market, it not only Apple and Google did and Microsoft with Windows Phone, Samsung Bada and Tizen, and at the dawn of the advent of smartphones and Nokia Symbian. And none of these companies did not — they failed to interest the developers,” — said Petrov.

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