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Meet Jon Briggs, The Man Behind Apple's Siri Voice

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Meet Jon Briggs, The Man Behind Apple's Siri Voice

Meet Jon Briggs, he's the voice behind Siri and often spends large parts of his time arguing with himself through his smartphone:

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If he can't crack it, there's not much hope for the rest of us. But how did he get the Apple gig, and does he get 'recognised?'

Briggs, who works as a broadcast journalist, became introduced to the world of voiceovers shortly after becoming a Channel 4 announcer at the age of 22.

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The technology lover then got involved with an American company in 2005 which is when he spent three weeks recording 'about five thousand' sentences which were all read in 'a very specific way'.

At that time, Apple hadn't been mentioned - it was 'just another voiceover job.'

Little did he know that he would then become the person many of us speak to on a daily basis. Whether it's to ring someone while we're driving, find the best restaurants nearby or create reminders.

Briggs won't disclose just how much he was paid back in 2005. But admits he'd have asked for more had he known just how big it would become.

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"The whole thing was a single buy out at the time and that's fine," he said.

"It was a nice payment at the time, if we'd known where else it was going to go we might have asked for a bit more but actually, the legacy of it is such that it still lives out there and I suppose it gives me a much longer lasting life than any of my broadcast work will have done. I smile and I laugh about it."

Credit: Jon Briggs
Credit: Jon Briggs

Speaking to LADbible, Jon said: "I am chuffed, I am chuffed that this voice will exist for an awful lot longer than I will over the years. It's quite annoying for ex-girlfriends, of course, who can't get rid of me. But on the whole I think it's of benefit to lots of people."

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Despite former partners not being able to escape the sound of Jon's voice, there have been strangers that have stopped to ask where they recognise him from - and there's a chance that it's a multitude of projects that Jon has done over the years.

These include voicing The Weakest Link, heaps of e-learning programmes and also assistance tools for people with visual impairments.

He went on: "A lot of people do the 'why do I recognise your voice thing. They'll stop me and ask: 'where do I know you from?'.

Credit: Jon Briggs
Credit: Jon Briggs
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Jon explained how people will ask him to wish their children a happy birthday because they 'talk to him all the time' before going on to say: "The funny thing is, being a single man, so many women have asked me to marry them, you know, and I apparently just constantly keep saying no. I'm not that sort of personal assistant.

"Apparently that's a very regular question for Siri."

But one thing is for certain, Jon is very proud of where his voice has gone - especially when it comes to 'making the inaccessible, accessible'.

He said: "One of the really nice things about what I've done is that I appear on a lot of the set ups whereby people who have impaired sight or no vision at all can access the sort of things that you and I do daily without even thinking about and allow them to create or utilise the information as easily as you or I can or relatively easier.

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"It's terribly sight driven what we have at the moment and if you don't have sight therefore you are at a disadvantage. That's one of the reasons why getting rid of keyboards is a really good thing, dictating to your machine is better, being able to speak to your equipment is great because it levels the playing field.

"It means that people who don't have the ability to do things as easily as you and I do can also participate."

Featured Image Credit: Jon Briggs

Topics: News, Technology, Apple

Rebecca Shepherd
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