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Siri finds its British voice, Apple asks him to remain silent

Posted: , by Victor H.

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Siri finds its British voice, Apple asks him to remain silent
Ah, Siri! That humble personal assistant is your best voice guide when you want to know what's the weather like and when you ask it where to hide a dead body. In the UK, Siri's voice is known as Daniel. But if you want to dig deeper, you'd find that it's actually Jon Briggs, a British actor who was recruited by Scansoft, a company which later flowed into Siri-making Nuance, to record 5,000 sentences six years ago. Only recently he found out where the end destination for his work was.

Apple however knew and asked Briggs to remain silent on the topic of Siri:  “We’re not about one person,” Cupertino said. The actor and ex-tech journalist however pointed out that he never had a contract with the company and is now revealing the curious little details about the service.

“I did a set of recordings with Scansoft five or six years ago, for text-to-speech services,” says Briggs. “Five thousand sentences over three weeks, spoken in a very particular way and only reading flat and even. Then they go away and take all the phonics apart, because I have to be able to read anything you want, even if I’ve never actually recorded all those words.”

This very process yields the great voice recognition abilities of Siri. The system – as you've probably also noticed – gets what you say right even if you speak with a slight accent.

Don't get the wrong impression, though – the actor got paid a decent sum and is actually happy about the way Siri turned out. “I love Apple’s products and I think Siri is a game-changer,” he mentions. Briggs is also the voice for Garmin, TomTom, Jaguar, Land Rover, Audi and Porsche. Finally, he doesn't feel like changing the voice of Siri is something that is impossible, but if that's to happen, it will be more than just about the voice, it'll be about background. It seems that the actor's website collapsed under media attention, but give both source links below a shot for all the details.



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posted on 10 Nov 2011, 08:21 1

1. remixfa (Posts: 13902; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)


so.. it starts of thinking that its cool because it uses a known actor.. but then you find out that he is the voice for like.. every majory voice nav out there. What fun is that.

They need Clive Owen or Fat Bastard to do a nav voice. that would be manly.. and/ or funny. :)

posted on 10 Nov 2011, 08:25

2. Rayzin (Posts: 83; Member since: 27 Oct 2011)


Second that for Clive Owen!

posted on 10 Nov 2011, 08:43 4

3. iShepherd (Posts: 38; Member since: 17 Oct 2011)


Screw that I want Patrick Stewart to do the voice nav. And when I pick my destination the app will belch out,

"Engage!"

posted on 10 Nov 2011, 11:20 1

8. corporateJP (Posts: 1520; Member since: 28 Nov 2009)


I second that, Number One!

posted on 10 Nov 2011, 13:30 2

12. gallitoking (Posts: 4682; Member since: 17 May 2011)


I want mr. Bean

nevermind,,, I want optimus prime voice..

posted on 10 Nov 2011, 17:52

15. harimura (Posts: 10; Member since: 14 Jun 2011)


The thumb is for Mr. Bean

posted on 10 Nov 2011, 08:54 9

4. testman22 (Posts: 337; Member since: 03 Nov 2009)


Morgan Freeman would make the BEST siri voice

posted on 10 Nov 2011, 09:20

6. rasinhussy (Posts: 87; Member since: 28 Dec 2008)


Bing Bing! Siri, who is your best friend in the world? Bing Bing! Oh Andy Dufresne... Get busy livin' or get busy dyin'! That was the longest night of my life.

posted on 10 Nov 2011, 13:00 2

10. robinrisk (unregistered)


I would like an unlimited thumbs up button for that comment! if morgan freeman was the voice for navigation, you´d always feel as if he was "narrating your journeys"

posted on 10 Nov 2011, 09:03 1

5. refrigerate_me (Posts: 22; Member since: 09 Nov 2011)


imagine siri in a richard cheese voice.... lol... all jazzed up and crappy...

posted on 10 Nov 2011, 10:32

7. Synack (Posts: 659; Member since: 05 Jul 2011)


Nope, Siri needs to be Vegeta's voice. "Siri, calculate 9 times 24". Bing. "It's over nine thousandddddddddd!!!"

posted on 10 Nov 2011, 13:01

11. robinrisk (unregistered)


It is actually 216. Nice comment though

posted on 10 Nov 2011, 12:21 1

9. SuperEd (Posts: 112; Member since: 18 Oct 2011)


TOOOO bad there was a HUGE outage. Siri is SORRY.

posted on 10 Nov 2011, 13:45 1

13. Paden (Posts: 262; Member since: 07 Jul 2011)


Off-topic...?

That was for a PART of a day and hasn't happened SINCE. Tends to happen with BETA software.

CAPS is FUN and useful to get a POINT across.

posted on 10 Nov 2011, 15:31 1

14. jackhammeR (Posts: 1548; Member since: 17 Oct 2011)


I\'d like to hear James Earl Jones.
Tulsa Doom as a navigator

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