Apple’s asks UK voice behind Siri to keep mum, he declines

“Apple has been keeping a secret from iPhone users: the company may call its new ‘humble personal assistant’ Siri, but the real name of the UK version is Daniel,” Matt Warman reports for The Telegraph. “And Daniel’s real name is Jon Briggs.”

“The ‘assistant’ allows users to talk to the latest iPhone, the 4S, just as they would a person: ‘Please send a message to…’; ‘Do I need an umbrella today?’; ‘Will you marry me?.” Warman reports. “In the UK, the voice that tells you the weather, or says, ‘We don’t even know each other that well,’ was actually recorded six years ago.”

“Jon Briggs, a former technology journalist who ‘fell into’ voice-over work, recorded ‘Daniel’ for Scansoft, which subsequently merged with Nuance, the company that works with Apple on Siri,” Warman reports. “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.”

Read more in the full article here.

35 Comments

      1. That’s because a) “shrimp on the barbie” is a phrase attributed to Australians, not Brits, and b) like Fosters, only non-Aussies use that phrase, because they’re called prawns down under. The phrase was used in a tourism commercial aimed at the US, so they used “shrimp” to avoid confusion.

      2. Only Americans mistake Aussies for Brits. As a Brit, however, I can make a good guess as to what part of the US someone comes from, and I can tell a Canadian from an American, and often a Kiwi from an Aussie. Probably because we’re more aware of the fact there’s a whole world beyond our borders.

        1. Only Americans…

          I’m gonna stop you right there. Do you realize what a complete ass you are? Guess? Is that how you discern one people from the next, guesswork?

          Is there work for Brits who can guess really good? Can you also pick handicapped people from a line up? What about “the gay”? Can you also tell when you’re looking at someone whether they’re gay or not?

          The Brits clearly need to get off their high horse, if you’re representing. Asshole.

          1. You, Kingmel and Jon must’ve misunderstood Rorschach. I don’t believe he said anything for you to take offense at, and he certainly didn’t say anything false. Please read again. Don’t be so hyper-sensitive, just take what he said at face value.

        2. I’m an American and I can also tell all those people apart as well. It’s only the minority who get it wrong that you remember. However, I don’t think “disposable identity” was confusing british for Australian but rather pointing out that while Siri works fine in the UK, it has been having trouble with the Australian accent in Australia (hence the recent update to fix that).

        3. “I can tell a Canadian from an American”

          Well, Duh! We Canadians are polite, on average we weigh 30 lbs less and we have the red and white maple leaf flag on our back packs.

        4. Wow! A lot of hostility and bravado here today. The fact is that some people, regardless of their nationality have better ears and minds for discerning accents and dialects, or a prediliction for making that a priority in their lives. Congratulations, Rorschach, you are one of these gifted people. Using that to denigrate Americans in general is a bit small and unworthy.

          1. > Using that to denigrate Americans in general is a bit small and unworthy<

            Quite the contrary, it's called harmless banter and throwing the toys out of the cot is hardly a grown-up response. It's broadly and undeniably true, however, that Americans are indeed hilariously bad at picking english accents. Which not from being dumb or ignorant but more a result of the USA being big and self-contained and only 15% having passports.

        5. I can tell what region of the UK a speaker is likely from, many different accents, maybe even more than in the US. Aussies are really very easy to peg, not quite as easy to tell from Kiwis, but nothing at all like UK accents. The fact is many Americans can tell from accent and intonation the region a speaker comes from… many can’t, but many can. It all depends on how much exposure one has had to people from any of these areas. There are many Brits, Irish, Welsh and Scots in the US, as well as Aussies… sharing their cultural differences and accents to many of us beer drinking pals on a daily and nightly basis. So, generalize to your own heart’s content, but by doing so you are simply showing your own ignorance.

  1. My Siri tip that I discovered yesterday…

    We know that raising the phone to your head activates Siri (double-tone confirms it’s listening). But whenever you have a keyboard on screen, the raise to speak feature also works. A single tone is the confirmation that it’s listening.

    I haven’t seen this anywhere else.

  2. by 2018 we will have voice packs for SIRI, any age or gender you prefer. Toss in a few extra $$$ and get celebrity actor/actress voice modules.

    GarageBand will come with tons of new reverbs and effects to further customize SIRI’s voice. Its going to be awesome!

    (My SWAG, in reality YMMV)

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