Yandex adds next-generation neural network to Alice virtual assistant

Yandex has become the world's first company to integrate a next-generation large language model into its virtual assistant, Alice. Powered by the YandexGPT neural network, Alice can now generate text and brainstorm ideas nearly as effectively as a human expert.

Users can access the new feature through the Yandex app, Yandex Browser, Yandex Station smart speakers, and smart TVs equipped with Alice. To get started, simply say, "Alice, let's get creative!" and tell Alice what you need help with. She can assist with many tasks, like planning parties, writing business letters, mapping out trips, and thinking of wedding gift ideas. Because the technology is currently in beta, Alice may occasionally make factual errors. Nevertheless, her extensive knowledge base and robust reasoning skills allow her to come up with unique content.

How we trained YandexGPT

YandexGPT, the neural network behind Alice, was trained on Yandex's own supercomputers, the most powerful machines of their kind in Russia and Eastern Europe. Training was a two-stage process. In the first stage, the neural network was exposed to a wide range of publicly available text materials, including books, articles, and websites. Yandex's advanced search technologies were instrumental in this process, sifting through billions of documents and identifying those most useful for training.

Unlike earlier language models, YandexGPT was further refined using hundreds of thousands of meaningful, well-articulated responses. To collect and prepare these training samples, Yandex leveraged its crowdsourcing technologies and a dedicated team of AI trainers. Thanks to this advanced training, YandexGPT responds as clearly and concisely as a well-informed human.

What comes next?

Today's launch is just the beginning. The neural network is designed for continuous learning, so Alice will keep getting smarter. While Alice currently does not consider previous responses, future updates will enable her to keep track of the context of the conversation. Yandex also plans to integrate next-generation neural networks into its other products, starting with Search.


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