Like all virtual intelligences
in the Mass Effect
universe, Avina is a computer program designed to assist users and process data to in some way aid them, but unlike an artificial intelligence
is not actually self-aware. Avina can be accessed from several terminals around the Presidium, most of which are near points of interest such as monuments. In her holographic representation
she appears as a purple Asari
with thin glowing lines and thicker black lines across her body. Commander Shepard
first meets Avina early on in Mass Effect
when accessing one of her terminals near the embassies in the Presidium. Avina provides Shepard with information on how to get around the Citadel
and a small insight into current events in the galaxy. Avina's programming parameters do not allow her to answer any questions that are strongly politically-based or that require her to provide her opinion on anything, but she shows some understanding of the concept of emotion, despite experiencing emotion being beyond the scope of her programming.
When the Geth
attack on the Citadel occurs near the end of Mass Effect, Shepard is able to get a status report on the attack from Avina, as well as a damage report on the Citadel. She is also able to report on the status of the Citadel Council
, as well as where in the Citadel Saren
is traveling too. However, at this point the holographic generator on the terminal Shepard uses to access her has been badly damaged.
Avina was voiced by Dannah Feinglass who is credited for providing additional voices in Mass Effect. Given the similarity in appearance of Avina's hologram to that of the Halo
's, it is possible that Avina was partly inspired by Cortana.