Imagine the surprise of U.K. resident Jon Briggs when he turned on his TV, heard a commercial for the iPhone 4S personal assistant Siri, and heard his own voice responding to commands.
Briggs had lent his voice to a company called Scansoft for its text-to-speech services, which were later purchased by Nuance and used to develop Siri. Briggs, a former technology journalist, “fell into” voiceover work, according to the Telegraph.
Briggs said that in his work for Scansoft, he recorded “5,000 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.”
The result is “as close to human speech as anything that’s out there,” Briggs told the Telegraph.
Siri, for those who aren’t familiar, is Apple’s voice-recognition technology, which began at a Silicon Valley startup that was purchased by Apple. You can use Siri to schedule reminders and calendar events, dictate text messages and e-mails, find out restaurant information through Yelp, and dozens of other applications.
The U.K. version of Siri is referred to as Daniel. But Daniel’s voice — that is, Briggs’ voice — isn’t exclusive to Apple’s darling virtual assistant. Briggs’ Scansoft recording has been used by the British Computer Association for the Blind, and in Kings Cross station in London.
Briggs says an Apple representative asked him not to talk about his involvement with Siri, as Apple employees aren’t allowed to discuss products. But Biggs countered. He said that he recorded the clips six years ago with another company, and has no contract with Apple regarding its use of his voice.
And so he decided to tell the world about his experience.
So what does the voice of Siri think about Siri? Briggs told the Telegraph, “I love Apple’s products and I think Siri is a game-changer.”
via Cult of Mac
Image: Telegraph UK