Since the launch of Siri on the Apple iPhone 4S there has been much written on the technical elements of the software, but who are the people behind Siri?

It is well-known that Apple actually bought the Siri product in April 2010 for a rumoured $200 million (US) but now that Siri is an Apple product some of the old school are surfacing with their stories.  Apple takes a firm line on employees speaking individually, however they have no control over the wider community.

Dag Kittlaus is a 24 year old Norwegian now living in America.  He was the man who agreed the Siri sale with the late Steve Jobs of Apple.

Of course there were many others involved in the original Virtual Personal Assistant project, including Adam Cheyer, Tom Gruber and Norman Winarsky.  Kittlaus was however than man who took the call from Jobs.  After the acquisition Kittlaus moved to Apple but quit in October 2011 to explore new opportunities, including writing a novel!  With a massive personal fortune one can be selective about the next project!

Another name to pop up in the Apple Siri story, and at the opposite end of the spectrum, is Jon Briggs.  He is the man behind the British male Siri voice.  Although he is now instantly recognised as the voice of Siri he did not know until he caught a TV advert for Siri and recognised his own tones.  Apparently he had recorded all the phrases as part of voice-over work several years early and it just so happens Apple bought the license to his work.

Jon is the voice behind the stats. for the UK Weakest Link TV show; recording over 1,000 shows.  He also features on some SatNavs, various National Geographic documentaries and is the voice of station announcements at London's Kings Cross station.

Hopefully my next Siri article will be the women behind the Siri :-)

Siri in Norwegian means âbeautiful victorious counselorâ

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