How to teach Yandex.Station a skill

This article on Yandex.Station originally appeared in Russian language on the  Yandex.Webmaster blog.

Editor’s note: Yandex.Station is a Russian-language smart speaker powered by the “Alice” AI (think Alexa for Russian). We covered Alice’s launch and the Yandex.Dialogs platform that allows you to teach her skills in earlier articles.

Yandex has automated the process of adding skills to Yandex.Station. Now anyone can make their skill available to everyone who uses the device. All skills must be in Russian. Here’s how to do it:

1. Publish your skill on Yandex.Dialogs and send it for moderation.

2. Use the feedback form to request that your skill gets published on Yandex.Station.

3. Wait for your second pass through moderation.

Your skill will pass through a second moderation and get added to Yandex.Station automatically if it meets the following requirements:

  • It has a short greeting that explains what it can do and how to exit the skill.

For example:

User: Let’s play Believe it or Not.
Alice: OK. All you have to do is guess whether what I’m saying is true. If you get tired of playing, just say “Alice, that’s enough.” Want to start?

  • Your skill should not contain images or buttons that the user must press in order to move through the scenario.

For example, the following is not allowed:

To proceed, select which of these two images/buttons you like more.

However, you can offer this type of option:

Do you want to order pizza or sushi?

Here you would show “pizza” and “sushi” buttons. This type of skill will also work well if a user voices those commands.

  • The skill should not contain links to a site that the user must visit as part of the scenario. You should also avoid links in texts that will Alice will voice.

For example, the following is not allowed:

The full story is posted at https://yandex.ru/.

  • The skill should not contain emojis in texts that Alice will voice.

For example, you can’t have the following:

Good morning! Sending you all kisses (KISS EMOJI)))

  • The skill should not contain a lot of text to be read (unless the whole purpose of the skill is to read texts for enjoyment).

For example, you can create a “fairy tales” or “funny stories” skill.

Of course, your skill should also be useful so that people want to use it again and again!

Add a skill now!

A Russian “skill” that lets you chat with Alexander Pushkin

You can add both private and public skills to Yandex.Station. As soon as a skill passes the second moderation required for Station, the creator will get an email confirmation. The Catalog page for that skill will also indicate that the latter was added to Station:

In response to demand, skill moderation requests are currently taking an average of one week to process. Yandex is currently working to decrease this time to one day.

Please note that it is not currently possible to add a chat with an operator to Yandex.Station. You can only add automated skills. If a skill is checked twice and fails to meet both Yandex.Station requirements and the terms outlined in the License Agreement, then Yandex may recall the skill from the Catalog until the problem is fixed.

The Yandex.Dialogs Team

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