本文摘要:Robotic. That is what the voice message on Jon Briggs’s phone sounds like. It is not the delivery, which is perfectly human. But because his voice is on so many technological applications, most notably on Siri, the iPhone’s personal assistant, his voice, which is so familiar, seems synonymous with technology.机器腔。

Robotic. That is what the voice message on Jon Briggs’s phone sounds like. It is not the delivery, which is perfectly human. But because his voice is on so many technological applications, most notably on Siri, the iPhone’s personal assistant, his voice, which is so familiar, seems synonymous with technology.机器腔。乔恩布里格斯(Jon Briggs)手机里的语音信息听得一起就是这种感觉。这推倒不是所指其说出的方式,那个听得一起和真人一模一样。


Friends often complain they cannot get rid of him. His voice is on their satnav and on automated telephone systems. One friend recently heard a chorus of Mr Briggs’s voice coming from their daughter’s room; upon investigation they discovered all the animated penguins on her game app spoke with his voice. Most disturbing for Mr Briggs, was when he received a phone call from himself trying to flog payment protection insurance.布里格斯的朋友们经常责怪他们无法挣脱他。他们的卫星导航系统和自动电话系统都用了布里格斯的声音。

最近,他一个朋友听见女儿房间里爆出一阵阵布里格斯的声音;调查一番后才找到,原本女儿游戏应用于里的所有卡通企鹅讲话用的都是布里格斯的声音。最令其布里格斯气恼的是,他还收到过用他的声音来向他促销缴纳维护险要的电话。An offer of work to provide the voice for Reading’s bus service was rescinded, he claims, after local employer, Microsoft, discovered that the voice of a competitor, Apple, might be escorting its employees to work.布里格斯说道,他还曾丧失一份为雷丁(Reading)公交车配音的工作邀请,因为当地雇员微软公司(Microsoft)找到,预示其雇员下班的也许将是其竞争对手苹果(Apple)的声音。In fact, the 50-year-old’s voice was dropped by Apple three years ago after he disclosed that he was the person behind the UK version of Siri. Apple has not confirmed any of the various voices used for Siri and declined to comment for this article.实质上,自从3年前,现年50岁的布里格斯放文章透露自己是英国版Siri的配音者以后,苹果就仍然用于他的声音。

苹果未曾证实过各版本Siri语音的来源,并拒绝接受对布里格斯的文章公开发表评论。“Apple would have stamped on me very swiftly if I was claiming something that was untrue,” says Mr Briggs. “I have a very good reputation of over 30 years work as a [voiceover artist] and claiming something like that falsely would ruin that reputation totally.”“如果我所说的有什么不实之处,苹果早已马上阻止我了,” 布里格斯说道,“专门从事配音工作30年来,我的声誉仍然十分好,说道那样的假话不会让我身败名裂。

”The notoriously secretive tech company was foolish, believes Mr Briggs, for thinking his identity would never be revealed. “Apple got upset but if [it is] going to put you in the pocket of millions of people how can they not expect you to reply when they ask, ‘Is it you?’ Other people recognised me…It’s an act of complete imbecility not to think someone would recognise you.” The company might be a whizz with technology and design, says Mr Briggs, who is also a broadcast journalist and presenter, but they are “not very good with people”.布里格斯指出,以事事保密而闻名的苹果公司,指出他的身份总有一天会曝露,这是很可笑的。“苹果很不高兴,但是假如把你放入数百万人的口袋里,当人们问一起‘这是你么?’,他们怎不会预计将近不会有一个回应?还有人都听得出来是我了……实在没有人能听得出来是我,这种点子觉得傻到家了。” 同时也现职电视新闻记者和主持人的他回应,苹果公司也许是技术和设计方面的奇才,但他们“不过于擅长于与人做事”。

In any case, Mr Briggs had not signed a contract with Apple. The work was originally done for Scansoft, he claims, which has since merged with Nuance, a software and technology company. The text-to-speech service was recorded over three weeks: 5,000 sentences delivered in a flat, even way. These were later taken away and dissected so that the phonics could be reassembled in new sentences in response to any question the user poses. Aside from asking Siri predictable questions about locations of restaurants or the day’s weather forecast, there is pleasure to be found demanding “who let the dogs out”, or “the best place to bury a body”.布里格斯未曾和苹果签定过任何合约。他说道,这份工作原本是为Scansoft而做到的。Scansoft后来和软件技术公司Nuance拆分。这个文本并转语音服务中的所有语音都是在3周内录音已完成的:用祥和的声音直线运动读5000个句子。


Scott Brave, the co-author of Wired for Speech: How Voice Activates and Advances the HumanComputer Relationship , notes that users imbue technology with human attributes. “We respond socially to the voice even when we know it’s a machine,” he says. He cites the example of BMW, which had to recall German cars installed with its navigation system. Male drivers objected to taking directions from a woman’s voice.《连线语音:电子语音如何唤起和深化人机关系》(Wired for Speech: How Voice Activates and Advances the Human Computer Relationship)一书的作者斯科特布雷夫(Scott Brave)明确提出,是用户给技术流经了人性。他说道,“即使我们告诉那是机器的声音,我们还是不会像对待人一样对此它。”他以宝马(BMW)为事例,由于男性司机不愿理会女性声音的命令,宝马被迫解任加装了女声导航系统的德国车。More generally, he says, dominant personalities prefer to have submissive-sounding machines.布雷夫回应,总的来说,支配型的人更加注目听得上去很遵从的机器。

Mr Briggs loves Siri and uses it all the time, particularly to schedule appointments. “It’s very clear.” He thinks it is an important breakthrough for those who cannot read or have poor sight.布里格斯很讨厌Siri,仍然在用于它,特别是在用来决定日程。“它十分清了,”布里格斯指出,对于那些无法读者或者视力较好的人来说,这是一个重大突破。This view is not shared by Susan Bennett, the former US voice of Siri. (Ed Primeau, a forensic audiologist has analysed her voice and confirms that it was used in an older version of Siri).前一版美国Siri的配音苏珊本内特(Susan Bennett)则不表示同意这一观点。

(声音鉴定专家埃德普里莫(Ed Primeau)对本内特的声音展开了分析,确认她就是老版Siri的配音)。The 65-year-old confesses she found listening to Siri a bit creepy. It was not that she hated hearing herself — that is an everyday occurrence for the voice recording artist. She is used to hearing her voice over tannoys at airports and stores, as well as telephone on-hold systems. She is her son’s bank’s automated voice and it tickles her to assume that voice and taunt him by saying: “Thank you for calling the bank. You are overdrawn.”现年65岁的本内特坦言,她实在听得Siri说出有些古怪。推倒不是说道她喜欢听得自己的声音——这对配音工作者来说是家常便饭。


她常用“感激约见本银行,您已欠下”那样的腔调逗他儿子,实在这样十分有意思。It was interacting with herself that felt so peculiar. “It was very strange having my voice coming back to me from my hand. I said, ‘Hi Siri, what are you doing?’ Siri said, disgustedly: ‘Talking to you.’” Why did the company choose her? “They wanted an otherworldly voice and had to have a sense that the voice would have a dry sense of humour — I don’t think the new voice has that quality.” The identities behind Siri’s voices on newer operating systems (iOS7 and iOS8) are unknown.让她实在讨厌的地方是与她自己对话。“听得着自己的声音从手里传回去非常古怪。


Secretly, the Atlanta-based Ms Bennett is rather pleased to no longer be the “voice of Big Brother”, as she refers to Siri. She is far more gloomy about the creep of technology than Mr Briggs.私下里,同住亚特兰大的本内特为自己仍然是“老大哥的声音”(Siri)深感非常高兴。对于这项讨厌的技术,她比布里格斯乐观的多。Originally a singer for jingles, she was “discovered” one day when the talent — the person who was meant to do the advertisement’s voiceover — failed to turn up and the studio manager asked her to stand in. “A lightbulb went on in my head” after delivering the lines.本内特本来是一名广告歌歌手,有一天本有误广告配音的人没来,编剧竟然她顶上,她因此被“考古”了。读过台词后,她登时“心头一暗”。

The work, she says, has been “fun and creative”. Moreover, “it paid pretty well”.她说道,这份工作“有意思又有创新”。更加最重要的是,“报酬高昂”。The business was changed with the arrival of the web, she says. Suddenly producers could get talent from anywhere in the world. “The internet has devalued things,” she reflects. “Voiceover is no different from any other industry.” Producers can get a voiceover from Fiverr.com, the global online marketplace offering creative services for just $5 a job, she says.随着互联网的来临,这个行业也再次发生了变化。

突然之间,制作方可以从世界各地召募配音人员了。“互联网让很多东西升值,”她思维后说,“配音业也不值得注意。”她说道,制作方可以从创新服务全球市场平台Fiverr.com上召募配音人员,每份工作仅有须要5美元。“As long as you have a microphone you can do it. No one wants professionalism any more. They want the guy next door.” Mr Briggs is more sanguine. “I didn’t have to work for my voice. I was blessed with it.” He believes the shift means the industry is better reflecting a broad range of accents.“只要有个麦克风你就能干。


我幸运地获得了我的嗓音。”他指出,这种改变意味著配音业的口音不会显得更为普遍多样。Will these two voices of the machine find themselves redundant come the “second machine age”, to use the title of the book describing the jobs revolution (and job losses) triggered by technological advances? Ms Bennett is bleak. “Digital voices will probably replace voiceover artists. The danger is we’re giving our jobs to computers.”借出一本刻画由技术变革而造成的岗位革命(以及岗位萎缩)的书名来说,随着“第二次机器时代”的到来,这两名为机器配音的人会实在自己显得多余吗?本内特所持乐观态度。“电子语音很有可能代替配音工作者。

危险性正是我们把自己的工作转交了电脑。”Mr Briggs is more circumspect. “I don’t think you can replace people yet.” Once machines can emote, things will change, he says. Nonetheless, he is hopeful. “Humans are very adaptable.”布里格斯则更加慎重一些。“我实在目前人类还无法被代替。