The Telegraph has an interesting article detailing the man behind the voice of Siri, a Brit by the name of Jon Briggs. A voice over actor by trade, Briggs was recently contacted by Apple asking him not to reveal his participation in the Siri project. There was just one problem, Briggs never was officially part of any Siri project.
As it turns out, Briggs had done voice over work for a company called Scansoft, which was soon thereafter acquired by Nuance, which lo and behold, provides the speech recognition engine for Siri.
“I did a set of recordings with Scansoft five or six years ago, for text-to-speech services,” Briggs explained. “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.”
Now you might be wondering – “Hmm, isn’t the voice for Siri a female?”
Why yes, yes it is. But that’s in the US and most other countries. In a few countries, like the UK and Germany, the voice of Siri is a male.
The first he knew of his role with Apple was when he saw a demonstration on television. Is he bitter? “I got paid a decent sum by Scansoft,” he says. “I love Apple’s products and I think Siri is a game-changer.”
And so there you have it – Jon Briggs – the male voice behind Siri.