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Apple, Siri, Rival App Evi Decodes Accents: Start-up Idea

New accent-decoding app is nice and Evi

By Michelle Hammond
Wednesday, 07 March 2012

Designers in the United Kingdom have created a voice-activated app that has an ear for British accents that often bamboozle Apple’s Siri.

 

The app, titled Evi, is designed to decode regional accents from areas such as Wales and Scotland, and can even understand Geordie.

 

Evi has fast earned a place among the most popular apps downloaded from the Apple’s UK store, with nearly half a million downloads in the three weeks since its release.

 

Evi’s creators describe it as “smarter than a search engine” because, thanks to years of research into artificial intelligence, the software can understand what users want.

 

Unlike its US rival, Evi can look up UK businesses and maps and, while Siri relies on external databases for answers, Evi has amassed its own collection of 635 million facts.

 

The app’s creator, Cambridge-based tech company True Knowledge, is adding to the database all the time.

 

Given how many companies use voice recognition services nowadays, apps that can understand accents are just one of the ways in which such services can be improved.

 

Can you think of any others?

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