There is a new natural-language, speech-based virtual assistant in town: Nuance on Monday introduced Nina to rival Apple’s Siri. Nina can be used by smartphone application developers — or any other type of user who would like to deploy the technology’s mix of speech recognition, text-to-speech and voice biometric technology, for that matter. Nuance is offering Nina as a hosted, cloud-based service. At first blush, Nina and Siri have a lot in common, starting with the voice itself. However there are significant differences between the two.