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MacRumors
Nov 10, 2011, 12:46 PM
http://cdn.macrumors.com/im/macrumorsthreadlogo.gif (http://www.macrumors.com/2011/11/10/voice-behind-uk-siri-voice-daniel-speaks-out/)


http://cdn.macrumors.com/article-new/2011/11/jon_2051056c.jpg


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 (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/apple/8879705/The-voice-behind-Siri-breaks-his-silence.html):
"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.

Article Link: Voice Behind UK Siri Voice "Daniel" Speaks Out (http://www.macrumors.com/2011/11/10/voice-behind-uk-siri-voice-daniel-speaks-out/)



D4F
Nov 10, 2011, 12:52 PM
Why would they want to silence him? Isn't that free promo?

jsalda
Nov 10, 2011, 12:54 PM
"Mr Briggs, please do not speak to strangers so that they do not confuse what you are saying with what their phone tells them."

kenypowa
Nov 10, 2011, 12:55 PM
Why would they want to silence him? Isn't that free promo?

Typical Apple. Their corporate secrecy knows no bound.

SimonTheSoundMa
Nov 10, 2011, 12:57 PM
Stupid reply from Apple, some MBA has his head stuck up his ass.

He has been the voice of my MacBook Pro for several years, tells me the time every hour or if I have an urgent message. I so aptly named my MacBook Pro "Daniel", my iMac is called Victoria for the same reason.

Daniel is also the voice on my Garmin, watch, and even some sound equipment I own.

rikscha
Nov 10, 2011, 01:02 PM
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Rip his tongue out! Traitor

A Macbook Pro
Nov 10, 2011, 01:04 PM
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So since the voice was recorded 6 years ago, there is no chance words they didn't record back then will be added in?

albertc
Nov 10, 2011, 01:04 PM
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Rip his tongue out! Traitor

LOL what?

M-O
Nov 10, 2011, 01:04 PM
he's the voice of Siri??? that dude sounds like a girl. (joking)

Caliber26
Nov 10, 2011, 01:12 PM
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Good for him. Apple should have thought about these things beforehand.

seamer
Nov 10, 2011, 01:19 PM
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?

Rodimus Prime
Nov 10, 2011, 01:20 PM
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.

nerdo
Nov 10, 2011, 01:24 PM
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?

charlituna
Nov 10, 2011, 01:24 PM
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.

miniroll32
Nov 10, 2011, 01:26 PM
"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."

Steve Jobs?...

DougFNJ
Nov 10, 2011, 01:46 PM
Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain!!! :p

batchtaster
Nov 10, 2011, 01:47 PM
So since the voice was recorded 6 years ago, there is no chance words they didn't record back then will be added in?

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 answer is in the article.

Luman
Nov 10, 2011, 01:50 PM
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'..

BC2009
Nov 10, 2011, 02:17 PM
How do you change voices for Siri? I noticed the British male voice on one of the videos after the iPhone 4S announcement.

I don't see any way in settings to the change the voice.

Is the voice determined by your region automatically?

I know if you ask Siri certain questions in the US, that Siri identifies itself as a woman. It uses the pronouns "her" or "she" in places to refer to itself.

haydn!
Nov 10, 2011, 02:23 PM
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'..

What, so he could reply "Sorry, I can only look for businesses in the United States and when you're using US English" ?

Siri's assist.
Nov 10, 2011, 02:41 PM
Is the voice determined by your region automatically?

I believe you get a male voice if your setting is British English (as well as French) and female if you are using US and Australian English (and German?).

Is Siri a female name in English? It certainly is in the neck of woods where I use to set up my tent for the night.

whooleytoo
Nov 10, 2011, 02:52 PM
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'..

Hah! Maybe that's why they got in touch with him, they just needed some new phrases recorded, for free?

- "Hey Jon, what's your opinion on global warming?"
- "Global warming?"
- "Perfect! Thanks, see ya".

scottishwildcat
Nov 10, 2011, 03:21 PM
He's also the male English voice in OS X Lion, of course... Although personally, I prefer the (female) Scottish and Irish voices.

angrynstupid
Nov 10, 2011, 03:35 PM
Why would they want to silence him? Isn't that free promo?

What if the guy some day goes on a killing spree? Or has 30 bodies buried under his house? Or is a drug kingpin? Or is a porn star?

Better to have these yahoos anonymous.

macaddict06
Nov 10, 2011, 03:44 PM
...Or is a porn star? Better to have these yahoos anonymous.


:confused: Why would that matter? Being in porn isn't illegal. Yes, Steve had his issues with it, but really, Jon's not part of the company.

Porn isn't even in the same league as serial murder, dude.

*Edited to clarify that I'm talking about Jon and not Steve in the sentence

seamer
Nov 10, 2011, 04:00 PM
What if the guy some day goes on a killing spree? Or has 30 bodies buried under his house? Or is a drug kingpin? Or is a porn star?

Better to have these yahoos anonymous.

Gilbert Gottfried for Aflac.

That British guy for Geico.

Examples on why anonymous is good.

macingman
Nov 10, 2011, 04:52 PM
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So since the voice was recorded 6 years ago, there is no chance words they didn't record back then will be added in?

It says in the article that the took the sentences apart and seperated it into sounds. So they can string sounds together to make new sentences.

SoGood
Nov 10, 2011, 06:38 PM
Clearly he is not sexy enough to the ladies and $AAPL doesn't want to have him associated with Siri in a public way. It's better to leave it to one's imagination.

wandrer2
Nov 10, 2011, 07:31 PM
Possibly relevant:
What happened to the London Underground voice (http://www.metafilter.com/66883/The-Voice-of-the-Underground-is-silenced)

MaxDrago
Nov 10, 2011, 09:15 PM
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.

This is common, and when you're the voice of someones product, they want the spotlight on the product not the person they paid to record something. He's the equivalent of a studio musician... Amazing skills w/ an instrument, but often paid to stay nameless and let the Album artist have their lime light.

jeff1977
Nov 10, 2011, 11:07 PM
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...Or is a porn star? Better to have these yahoos anonymous.


:confused: Why would that matter? Being in porn isn't illegal. Yes, Steve had his issues with it, but really, Jon's not part of the company.

Porn isn't even in the same league as serial murder, dude.

*Edited to clarify that I'm talking about Jon and not Steve in the sentence

My reaction to his post as well. Nothing wrong with being a porn star. North America is so sex negative.

Westacular
Nov 11, 2011, 12:06 AM
How do you change voices for Siri? I noticed the British male voice on one of the videos after the iPhone 4S announcement.

I don't see any way in settings to the change the voice.

Is the voice determined by your region automatically?

Yes, the voice is directly determined by your language/region setting for Siri. It's somewhere under Settings -> General. For English, you can choose between US, UK, and Australian dialects.

Each one comes with its own distinct voice, but changing that setting also completely changes the voice recognition, and the dialectic aspects of what Siri says and understands. So if your goal is to get Siri to talk with a British male voice, the accuracy will be less unless you also talk to Siri in (a passable approximation of some type of) a British accent, and perhaps also use British instead of American expressions, where relevant.

deftdrummer
Nov 11, 2011, 02:42 AM
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My reaction to his post as well. Nothing wrong with being a porn star. North America is so sex negative.

Yet so sex crazed at the same time..

WAM2
Nov 11, 2011, 03:01 AM
Interesting, But I Still thing Alex on Mac OS X Is by FAR the best Text 2 Speech Voice EVAR, Whats the new one thats In Lion??? Its really clear to, but just isn't the same as Alex.

wickoo
Nov 11, 2011, 03:41 AM
I don't understand how he could call Siri's voice "the best that's out there" when right around the corner there's http://www.ivona.com/en/ - it's text to speech quality is unmatched by anything I've ever heard. Try it out. Check out how many different voices are available :)

Siri's voice is robotic, while Ivona's voice is very natural and seems like spoken by a human. Frankly I'm disappointed Apple didn't choose Ivona for their text to speech.

Zodiac-Jack
Nov 11, 2011, 06:21 AM
Mr Briggs is, of course, in his full right to speak his mind unless any legal contract obligations with Apple hinders him from doing so. Since that does not seem to be the case, this proves as an example of Apple Incs arrogance and control freak attitude the company's late CEO infected the company with.

I have to admit, that after having read the autobiography of Steve Jobs, my regard for the man and the company he built has diminished dramatically. The cult of Mac really has its dark and dubious sides.

markie
Nov 11, 2011, 06:47 AM
Apple are nuts about secrecy. The odd thing is this USUALLY goes the other way around. Look at Vocaloid, most of the Vocaloids (but not all, and not the most popular ones because there's fame at that point - for example Miku is voiced by Saki Fujita), the person providing the voice samples is unknown. Because THEY wanted to remain anonymous.

Apple's trying to do it opposite, LOL

Stella
Nov 11, 2011, 07:30 AM
Did he sign any non disclosure contract with Apple?

If not, then he is free to speak and Apple ****! Oh Apple, your products are overall good, but ****, you are so petty.

nwcs
Nov 11, 2011, 07:55 AM
Did he sign any non disclosure contract with Apple?

If not, then he is free to speak and Apple ****! Oh Apple, your products are overall good, but ****, you are so petty.

He may have signed one with ScanSoft...

ddarko
Nov 11, 2011, 10:06 AM
Sheesh, is it so hard to summarizing another publication's reporting without distorting it? This is the entirety of the Daily Telegraph's reference to Apple contacting Mr. Briggs:

The notoriously secretive Apple has, it should be said, asked Briggs not to talk about Siri – “We’re not about one person,” they told him – but, since Briggs pointed out that he had never had a contract with them, the company has not been back in touch.

Where in that paragraph supports Macrumors' characterization that Apple "isn't pleased with Briggs' newfound fame"? It seems to me that someone at Apple mistakenly thought Mr. Briggs was either an Apple employee or did freelance work for Apple to do the voice work. Had that been the case, it would have been fair for Apple to request confidentiality. However, Mr. Briggs pointed out to Apple that he did the work for another company many years ago and Apple, upon realizing its misunderstanding, dropped the matter. Move along, nothing to see here.

Of course, that's not juicy enough to drive web traffic to Macrumors, is it? Macrumors tarts it up with a false characterization - Apple is mad - that's entirely unsupported by the article. Nor is such an innocuous explanation enough for forum readers who haven't even bothered to read the original piece but [t]rolls out the anti-Apple rants. Why be fair and balanced when cheap, inaccurate, tiresome and repetitive potshots will do?

whooleytoo
Nov 11, 2011, 10:11 AM
He's also the male English voice in OS X Lion, of course... Although personally, I prefer the (female) Scottish and Irish voices.

Are there Scottish/Irish voices in Lion? Or are you speaking in general? (I haven't upgraded yet to Lion.)

jowie
Nov 11, 2011, 11:10 AM
My brother was right! It's the voiceover man from The Weakest Link :)

Would love to see him have a conversation with himself on an iPhone 4S ;)

Xenc
Nov 11, 2011, 11:27 AM
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My brother was right! It's the voiceover man from The Weakest Link :)

Would love to see him have a conversation with himself on an iPhone 4S ;)

Oh wow. Apple should put that on the iPhone box.

Codestud
Nov 11, 2011, 12:20 PM
I'm glad this guy told Apple where to go. It's disappointing they actually felt necessary to phone him and give him some kind of 'warning'. There's no harm at all in him coming forward and giving us all 5 minutes of his insight.

There really must be a few PR people in Apple who have their heads up their backsides.

Stella
Nov 11, 2011, 12:52 PM
He may have signed one with ScanSoft...

Unless, Apple have purchased ScanSoft, its none of Apple's business.

shawn dasilvag
Nov 11, 2011, 02:12 PM
I think daniel should be swapped with danielle wink wink*

PatrickCocoa
Nov 11, 2011, 02:58 PM
Mildly interesting article on the voiceover dude.

More interesting, we now know who is both: 1) a commenter on Macrumors; and 2) addicted to porn.

LWX
Nov 11, 2011, 05:04 PM
I just can't stand the guy's voice, and hope they bring out a female UK voice :(

diazj3
Nov 11, 2011, 05:57 PM
Apple's hush-policy is getting ridiculous: don't they realize that public scrutiny comes with the territory? Sometimes they behave like a religious cult - and worst of all, they expect everyone else to follow suit. The company isn't "about one person"??? Right... unless that person's name is Steve Jobs :eek:

Swift
Nov 11, 2011, 09:53 PM
It's run as an adjunct of the publicity department, of course.

Tell someone whose voice is now in millions of iPhones, who recorded his voice 5 years ago for another company, to stay silent? Not going to happen. So Apple gets the publicity, no doubt better, and more than they'd get if you sent out a press release or got them interviewed by ET or Tech News Today. And it gets the Android and Windows types all outraged at Apple Mussolini doing outrageous things to someone or other's hypothetical freedom. And that brings out the Apple stalwarts and the blood flows freely.

"Siri's British voice is a guy! Really cool tech! Blah, blah..."

Six nerds read that and make sure their pocket protectors are in place.

But a secret, now that just squirts out all over the world.

MacinDoc
Nov 12, 2011, 12:14 AM
Did he sign any non disclosure contract with Apple?

If not, then he is free to speak and Apple ****! Oh Apple, your products are overall good, but ****, you are so petty.
Given that Apple allegedly called him to ask him to not make any further comment regarding this, it stands to reason that Apple has some sort of non-disclosure agreement in its possession. Apple is sometimes quite aggressive in opposing violation of such agreements, but I can't see what grounds the company would have for approaching him in the absence of such an agreement.

Stella
Nov 12, 2011, 12:26 AM
Given that Apple allegedly called him to ask him to not make any further comment regarding this, it stands to reason that Apple has some sort of non-disclosure agreement in its possession. Apple is sometimes quite aggressive in opposing violation of such agreements, but I can't see what grounds the company would have for approaching him in the absence of such an agreement.

Well, maybe but the story says 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., so I expect the likelyhood is low ; especially since in other articles he states he has no contract with Apple:
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2060453/Apple-iPhone-4S-Voice-Siri-revealed-Jon-Briggs-The-Weakest-Link.html

justperry
Nov 12, 2011, 05:13 AM
Ridiculous

If he doesn't have a contract with Apple then what the hell Apple thinks they are.
Apple looks more and more like that 1984 add.
I like their Computers and their OS (except Lion) but last few years they became more and more control freaks.

blackpond
Nov 12, 2011, 09:40 AM
I wonder what Dr. Sbaitso or the Talking Parrot would think of this.

Kwill
Nov 12, 2011, 03:03 PM
We all thought Siri was a woman! Daniel, you kill joy.

Johnny3
Nov 12, 2011, 07:02 PM
Wow. Companies must really like his voice.

dshan
Nov 13, 2011, 06:13 AM
I want to know who Siri's voice in Australia is (it's a different female voice to the US Siri). I'm in love and need to marry her asap. :)

sup3r1or
Nov 13, 2011, 06:59 AM
I'am sorry but I do not like bloke's voice. I know Siri is IT but I rather prefer female that is why I changed to American voice and have a female.

panzer06
Nov 13, 2011, 09:15 AM
snip

My reaction to his post as well. Nothing wrong with being a porn star. North America is so sex negative.

More like the US is sex-restrictive. I find Canadians to be much more sexually liberated.

Cheers,

mazz0
Nov 13, 2011, 11:40 AM
They should let you download new voices from iTunes. BT used to let you choose who reads out text messages sent to your land line (they may do so still, I don't know) - the Brian Blessed one was ace!

----------

Oh, and everyone's assuming that Apple were an arse about it - how do you know they didn't just ask nicely, as a favour?

mitty
Nov 13, 2011, 01:36 PM
They should get Majel Barrett to record the voice. Thousand of Trek nerds dreams would come true.

mazz0
Nov 13, 2011, 02:28 PM
They should get Majel Barrett to record the voice. Thousand of Trek nerds dreams would come true.

Is that the computer? I would DEFINITELY buy that on iTunes.

Also, the voice of Zen from Blake's Seven would be good.

stu531
Nov 13, 2011, 02:54 PM
In a way it's a bit of an own goal Apple NOT making it public who the respective Siri voices are. It's what makes it human. What the intention of Siri is to do is to be as close to human as possible. Declaring that human behind the voice makes it even more human, not robotic.

Aaron Davis
Nov 13, 2011, 07:45 PM
They should get Majel Barrett to record the voice. Thousand of Trek nerds dreams would come true.

Except she passed away in 2008, 2 weeks after finishing her voice over work for J.J. Abrams Star Trek. Maybe with all the clips she recorded over time they could do something with all of that though.

njloof
Nov 13, 2011, 10:42 PM
Well, maybe but the story says 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., so I expect the likelyhood is low

Let's see what Mister Benjamin Franklin has to say about that.

...

Wait, you don't use dollars? What kind of cockamamie country are you running here?

kiljoy616
Nov 14, 2011, 07:31 AM
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.

Nice was it not. So Steve is gone but Apple still paranoid and controlling as ever.

Yes Apple he is not your employee, actually most of the world does not work for you so get over it. :rolleyes:

To bad we can't pick which voice we want when it comes to Siri, the female voice is annoying reminds me of Anime characters. :eek:

----------

In a way it's a bit of an own goal Apple NOT making it public who the respective Siri voices are. It's what makes it human. What the intention of Siri is to do is to be as close to human as possible. Declaring that human behind the voice makes it even more human, not robotic.

To bad people at Apple did not see it this way, which actually I like knowing that the voice is coming from someone real and still alive. Gives it a more human touch.

----------

More like the US is sex-restrictive. I find Canadians to be much more sexually liberated.

Cheers,

Not all of us are, just half the country or so. The rest of us could care less.

Ever watch TorchWood, no big deal the stuff that went on in every other episode. Don't clump the hicks with the rest of us liberals.

griz
Nov 14, 2011, 09:36 AM
So who is the Siri female voice based on? Or is it derived from his voice too?

BC2009
Nov 14, 2011, 11:27 AM
Yes, the voice is directly determined by your language/region setting for Siri. It's somewhere under Settings -> General. For English, you can choose between US, UK, and Australian dialects.

Each one comes with its own distinct voice, but changing that setting also completely changes the voice recognition, and the dialectic aspects of what Siri says and understands. So if your goal is to get Siri to talk with a British male voice, the accuracy will be less unless you also talk to Siri in (a passable approximation of some type of) a British accent, and perhaps also use British instead of American expressions, where relevant.

That's what I thought -- thanks for confirming that. I don't want to change the voice it expects me to use in order to try out the other Siri voices.

iStudentUK
Nov 14, 2011, 11:32 AM
Not all of us are, just half the country or so. The rest of us could care less.

Seems your half doesn't know the difference between "could" and "couldn't" :p

efktd
Nov 15, 2011, 02:45 AM
downloading your voice right now daniel lol

GenesisST
Nov 15, 2011, 11:31 AM
Yet so sex crazed at the same time..

http://www.theonion.com/articles/us-children-still-traumatized-one-year-after-seein,1285/

ILikeTurtles
Nov 15, 2011, 12:36 PM
I'll file this one under, "Who gives a crap?"

Zxxv
Dec 23, 2011, 11:39 AM
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I'm British and have lived in the uk all my life. I use Australian Siri because it feels more natural to have a women in there. I also find she understands better. Use what ever works. US Siri gets things truly wrong and hillarious, eg rude