Yandex company blog

Yet another Conference 2021: Turning a New Page

Yet another Conference (YaC), our annual conference on technology and innovation since 2010, continues last year’s Yet another Conversation with Yet another Chapter. This event  lets us sum up our efforts, share our achievements and look at our past, present and future. 

Some of the most impactful launches, events and results of the year are reflected upon by the people who stand behind them in the new YaC film. In addition to talking about innovative voiceover video translation technology or using augmented reality while shopping for home appliances online, Yandex managers and engineers reveal how new ideas are born and how they are turned into products.

You will see cutting-edge energy-efficient data centers, supercomputers, a closed testing track and an engineering center for self-driving cars, a project for a robotaxi service in Moscow, and a lab where Yandex’s virtual assistant Alice lives. You will also find out what happened when Yandex executives put themselves in the shoes of a taxi driver, a courier and a personal shopper.  

Looking ahead, the new product announcements and premieres of this year include the second generation of the Yandex Station smart speaker. The updated device has an improved sound quality and a new design. It is fully compatible with other smart home devices, all of which can be controlled via a smart home app. The new Yandex Station will hit the market before June 2022. 

Other product updates include Alice’s new skills and features. Yandex’s smart virtual assistant has learned to whisper and make stories. Alice uses a YaLM-family language model, trained on Yandex supercomputers, to make up a story on request. She composes an original storyline by asking questions and using cues from the person talking to her. You can watch this happen in real time at the end of the film. The storymaking feature will be rolled out on all Alice-enabled devices at the end of this month.

The people and the stories in YaC’s new chapter are introduced by the blogger and journalist Irina Shikhman. She talks about Yandex, its products and services, to Tigran Khudaverdyan, Yandex Deputy CEO, and finds out the answers to some of the most popular questions, such as how the company uses personal data and what affects the price of a Yandex Taxi ride. Other important questions answered in the YaC 2021 film include how Google is used at Yandex, what a cat can do to a Yandex Station, and whether thirty Alices can tell the time at the same time.

Watch YaC 2021 to find out more.