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

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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15 Comments

1. remixfa

Posts: 14605; Member since: Dec 19, 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. :)

2. Rayzin

Posts: 83; Member since: Oct 27, 2011

Second that for Clive Owen!

3. iShepherd

Posts: 38; Member since: Oct 17, 2011

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

8. corporateJP

Posts: 2458; Member since: Nov 28, 2009

I second that, Number One!

12. gallitoking

Posts: 4721; Member since: May 17, 2011

I want mr. Bean nevermind,,, I want optimus prime voice..

15. harimura

Posts: 10; Member since: Jun 14, 2011

The thumb is for Mr. Bean

4. testman22

Posts: 339; Member since: Nov 03, 2009

Morgan Freeman would make the BEST siri voice

6. rasinhussy

Posts: 89; Member since: Dec 28, 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.

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"

5. refrigerate_me

Posts: 22; Member since: Nov 09, 2011

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

7. Synack

Posts: 688; Member since: Jul 05, 2011

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

11. robinrisk unregistered

It is actually 216. Nice comment though

9. SuperEd

Posts: 132; Member since: Oct 18, 2011

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

13. Paden

Posts: 262; Member since: Jul 07, 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.

14. jackhammeR

Posts: 1548; Member since: Oct 17, 2011

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

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