Evi, a new smartphone app from across the pond, is getting ready to challenge Apple's Siri for dominance in the artificial intelligence wars. Evi's edge as a ready responder to users' questions is that she works on both Android and iOS platforms, giving her a broader base of support from the get-go.

Evi, a product of the Cambridge, England, company True Knowledge, is an AI agent that uses natural language processing and semantic search technology to infer the intent of your spoken question, gather information from multiple sources, analyze them and return the most pertinent answer.

"The idea behind Evi is that asking naturally for information and getting a concise response back from a friendly system is a better user experience than guessing keywords and browsing links," said William Tunstall-Pedoe, the company's founder and CEO.

The app already has been downloaded several hundred thousand times.

Evi eventually will spread her wings and expand into controlling smartphone functionality as Siri does, Tunstall-Pedoe told BusinessNewsDaily. For now, however, Evi will stick to her knitting and simply answer questions by drawing on True Knowledge's database of nearly 1 billion facts plus APIs such as Yelp.

The app is currently available for free at the Android Market and for 99 cents in the iTunes App Store.

Evi's venture capital backers see monetization through usage down the road.

"We're trying to make the product as useful as possible to get as many users as possible," Tunstall-Pedoe said. "Monetization will follow."

Though Siri has shown a coy side to users when queried about gender, Evi appears to be more in touch with her feminine side.

"Strictly speaking, I'm not male or female, but I think of myself as being female," she said.

Reach BusinessNewsDaily senior writer Ned Smith at nsmith@techmedianetwork.com. Follow him on Twitter @nedbsmith.

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