He could become as famous as the faceless man who used to greet us with the message “You’ve got mail.”
The iconic male voice that became a symbol of America Online came from a person by the name of Elwood Edwards. You probably never knew that, but Jon Briggs might be a different story.
Briggs has come forward and revealed himself as the man who provided the voice of Apple’s iPhone 4S voice recognition platform Siri – but only for those who use the technology in the UK. There are different voices for US and UK users.
Siri has become a phenomenal sensation across the Web because not only does it seemingly recognize normal human speech and deliver relevant information in vocal interjections, but it does so with a sense of wit and humor that almost makes it feel like talking to a human.
Part of Siri’s success is that it does not sound like a “computer voice.” Instead, Briggs recorded a wide variety of voice samples for the technology that developers used to create the entire platform.
That was six years ago. Siri has been through a lot – it started out with a company called Scansoft, which later became Nuance, and which is now an effective part of Apple.
For Briggs, it was just a normal job. The voice-over artist didn’t even realize he was the voice of Siri until he heard it on a TV commercial.
As for the US voice, we still don’t know who’s responsible. It’s just unfortunate that movie trailer spokesman Don LaFontaine passed away, otherwise he would have been our first choice.