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Several years ago, Jon Briggs took a voiceover job for a company called Scansoft. Scansoft later merged with Nuance, which makes the voices that Apple used for Siri.

Briggs tells the UK Telegraph:

“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.”

The result, Briggs says is “as close to human speech as anything that’s out there. It gets everything right, more or less, apart from the inflection.”

His voice, which is very familiar to United Kingdom iPhone 4S owners, is also used as the voice of GPS for Garmin, TomTom, Jaguar, Land Rover, Audi and Porsche.

For its part, Apple isn't pleased with Briggs' newfound fame. A representative called him after his interview with the Telegraph the iPhone 4S was released and asked him not to talk publicly about Siri, saying the company isn't "about one person." Briggs pointed out that he wasn't an Apple employee and he recorded the voices six years ago for a separate company. He hasn't heard from Apple since.

Top Rated Comments

jsalda Avatar
164 months ago
"Mr Briggs, please do not speak to strangers so that they do not confuse what you are saying with what their phone tells them."
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Luman Avatar
164 months ago
After berating him, the Apple rep should've asked what the weather in London would be like tomorrow or where the closest coffee shop was.. Seems like the perfect opportunity to kill two birds with one stone.. just sayin'..
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)
charlituna Avatar
164 months ago
Why would they want to silence him? Isn't that free promo?
His comments can be misquoted and mistaken to be that he was hired by Apple to record specifically for Siri when he was not. THAT is probably why Apple (if they did actually call him) don't want him talking about this.

Not to mention simply that his original contract might not give him the right to claim credit for the use of his voice in clients work. It's not uncommon when you do voice bank work such as what he did.
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
nerdo Avatar
164 months ago
Yeah, exactly, you understood it perfectly!

And if not, you can always ask Siri to explain this: "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"




So since the voice was recorded 6 years ago, there is no chance words they didn't record back then will be added in?
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Rodimus Prime Avatar
164 months ago
I love how arrogant Apple is thinking they could tell him not to do it.

I like how he told them to basically go pound sand.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
seamer Avatar
164 months ago
A representative called him after his interview with the Telegraph and asked him not to talk publicly about Siri, saying the company isn't "about one person."

Haven't they ever heard of Steve Jobs?
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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