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Apple Tried To Muzzle Voice Behind iPhone 4S

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SILENCE IS GOLDEN
DailyFeed

It would seem that if you were the voice behind the most noteworthy feature of Apple's latest bestselling device, the company would love for you to tout its success. But in the case of Jon Briggs -- the voice of Siri in the UK -- his involvement was a bit of a surprise.

The UK's version of Siri -- dubbed Daniel across the pond -- was supplied by Briggs long before Apple got involved. The former tech journalist got mixed up with voice-over work but had no idea how popular one particular gig would become.

"I did a set of recordings with Scansoft five or six years ago, for text-to-speech services," Briggs told Telegraph. "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."

But after Scansoft's merger with Nuance Communications, Apple acquired the company -- as well as Brigg's recordings -- when it began development of the Siri service. Although he was paid for the original sessions, he received no additional compensation for one of the most prominent performances in history.

In fact, he didn't know about his involvement until he heard his voice in a TV ad.

Adding insult to injury, an Apple PR rep contacted him and said he was not authorized to talk about the product.

"We're not about one person," the rep allegedly said.

Nevertheless, Briggs broke his silence in an interview with Telegraph and assured that he holds no grudges.

"I got paid a decent sum by Scansoft," he said. "I love Apple's products and I think Siri is a game-changer."

Here's hoping for another lengthy session for the iPhone 5.

(See also: How to Use Siri on Apple's iPhone 4S and Google Engineer Calls Google+ a Complete Failure)

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