Complain to Velikiy Novgorod: the valuable skill for disgruntled citizens.

Alice’s skill

Alice is a great assistant:
She broadcasts the weather forecast, reads the news and can rap.
The only thing that she can’t – write complaints to city hall and seek a solution to the issue of unfixed holes on the road. So, we decided to tech her how to handle this.


The team EORA ranking 5th prize place in Yandex’s and Novgorod region’s government online-hackathon in February of 2021. Participants were encouraged to develop the urban skill for Alice.
The major part of that project was connected with tourism and entertainment. We tried a different way to work – met the challenge of urban issues.

The urban assistant has many advantages over government websites, for instance, city hall website or «Gosuslugi». It can live in all popular assistants. Thought assistant citizens can quickly receive answers even to complicated questions. Working with assistant is more comfortable and easier than just google information or make requests to government.

Roman Doronin

Project manager

Hackathon lasted about a month

During this time the teams of contributors listened expert’s lectures from Yandex and completed projects, that were connected with development of the new Alice’s skill.
In the final all projects have been tested in combat mode.

Essence of the skill

He launch this skill «Want to complain» and sets forth the issue to assistant.
Alice offers to attach the photo. If user agrees, he can make the shot and set it with assistant’s help.
The program itself determines the topic of the appeal. A message with a photo is sent to the responsible service
The user is notified about the status of application.
The resident of Velikiy Novgorod sees the hole on the road or another defect of the urban infrastructure.

Skill advantages

User don’t need to search the information by himself.
Don’t necessarily need registration or fill private information.
Assistant is available on any platform including website, social networks, messengers.

Project team

Author of the idea, negotiator
Roman Doronin
Sergey Verensov
Tatyana Popova
*CUI — conversational user interface.

Development process

Step 1
Design, creation of CUI-scripts
Step 2
Step 3
Step 4
Skill validation at Yandex
Step 5
Step 6
Testing: in EORA and Yandex
Test run of the skill
Testing of CUI-scripts
Development of skill’s backend-part

Results of the project

What we have achieved
What we haven’t achieved
We have designed a full-fledged CUI – friendly, human interface. Due to high precision of speech recognition we were able to give orders to Alice without using of keyboard.
We made the function that is still not yet in Alice: sending photos through the voice assistant. Due to realise it, assistant gave the link to the form where user could upload the snapshot.
We were unable to establish sending of complaints, Unfortunately, government of Velikiy Novgorod refused to cooperate and offered to forward everything letters to one address, It was ineffective and contradicted our task: complaints should be targeted, and feedback effective.

Emotions from the project

Roman Doronin
Author of the idea, negotiator
«In hackathon were the guys that developed the detailed quests contained a lot of dialogs and high variability of answers featuring Alice. It takes a long time to create such project, more than one month, and the special team for creation of creativity. Considering that were just three of us in the team, our «complain receiver» completed it’s task»
«The hackathon let us know that urban assistant is extremely complicated idea, for implementation of which serious partners are needed. Although if they are, it will not work without government support. I am sure, sooner or later, the urban assistants will appear»
Tatyana Popova
Conversational user

The good examples of urban assistants

The application «Our city» for residents of Moscow
Telegram bot for Innopolis
You can complain about disadvantages of living in the city. For instance, about the mess in the yard.
It contains addresses and contacts of banks, restaurants, sport clubs, post office and others important institutions.

What’s next?

We are looking for the cities, in which the government would like to acquire own voice assistant. We are open to suggestions.
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