Imitation is the best form of flattery, but can an imitation become better than the original?
Evi Artificial Intelligence from True Knowledge is the latest creation in voice-activated personal assistants and some say it is better than Siri due to the exactness of its answers.
Evi was launched on Monday for iOS devices in the Apple App Store and as a beta for Android smartphones.
While Siri is limited strictly to the iPhone 4S, Evil is compatible with all Apple devices, including the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch running on iOS 4.0 or newer software in addition to Androids.
Evi works similar to Siri, in that the user taps a microphone on the touch screen to prompt a search. True Knowledge, the maker of the program, uses Nuance voice recognition to decipher a question asked on Evi. Commands are then granted on Evi with information from Google Search, Google Maps, GPS, Wolfram Alpha as well as a contextual answer with links and/or photos when needed.
Unlike a search engine, which simply looks for matching words and shows you a list of websites, Evi understands what you want to know and gives back exactly what you're after, according to the makers.
The answers given on Evi are much clearer than Siri in terms of giving the user what they want. Tech Crunch demonstrated when Siri is asked how to make an apple pie, it simply searches the Web or provides nearby bakeries. Evi, however, gives a list of recipes.
In addition to detailing info about local or nearby places, Evi also gives answers to common questions and can provide the users with almost a billion facts within its database, according to Tech Crunch. For example, Slash Gear asked Evi how old the U.S. is and Evi gave the correct, factual answer. Users can also vote on the answers to help improve the software's effectiveness.
There are also, of course, funny responses included in the Evi application, as Slash gear demonstrated when they posed the question, How much wood could a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood?
One caveat with Evi is that it cannot add reminders or important dates to iPhone Calendars yet, but surely True Knowledge will fix the bug.
Better yet, Evi offers an option to be voice activated as well as the option of text input to deliver results for users in the U.S. and UK.
Evi costs $.99 in the App Store and is currently free in the Android Market.