It seems Apple’s ‘new’ innovation, Siri, is actually a lot older than many experts realise. Also called Daniel in the UK, the feature apparently allows an iPhone 4S user to talk to it as if it was an actual person.
The voice behind Siri, or Daniel, is a former technology journalist called Jon Briggs. He also recorded his voice 6 years ago.
But why has this just come to light now?
The simple answer is Apple’s continual belief that it wants to keep everything secret until ready to go. The manufacturer also asked Mr. Briggs not to say anything. However, Jon Briggs decided to break his silence because he didn’t sign any contract asking him not to say anything; he didn’t feel obligated to keep quiet.
Jon told the Daily Telegraph “I did a set of recordings with Scansoft five or six years ago, for text-to-speech services.”
He added “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.”
Interestingly, he never realised what he was doing had anything to do with Apple. He found out when he saw a demonstration on television and realised it was his voice being used. He isn’t bitter though. He said “I got paid a decent sum by Scansoft.”