Karen Jacobsen has a voice that’s familiar to millions of Australians; she is the woman behind the voice of Apple virtual assistant, Siri.

Jacobsen has told The Daily Telegraph that people instantly recognise her voice when they speak to her, but often have trouble pinpointing exactly where they know her from.

“People treat me like they really know me, they are very familiar with me,” Jacobsen told the publication.

“They know my voice, it is very unusual. The thing that is fun about it is how much joy it brings other people. It is a gift that keeps on giving … people are really uplifted and entertained by it.”

The Aussie mum explained that she was living in New York when she saw a job advertisement looking for an Australian female voiceover artist who was currently living in the northeast of the US. However, she wasn’t aware of the gravity of the job when she applied for the role.

“I had done a lot of voiceover work and jingle work in Sydney before,” she said. “The client was looking for a female voiceover artist working in the north east of the United States and so I went to the audition and got the job.”

She added, “I recorded 50 hours of script to create a voice system that was based on my speaking voice,” she said.

“They didn’t really know how it was going to be used and neither did I so it is just an unexpected development in my singing career for it to be in GPS devices, phones and elevators telling people where to go and what to do around the world.”

Apple users are automatically assigned a Siri voice with an American accent, however they can change the accent to a number of different options.

“The Australian one that I did was one of the first that they did because they had research that showed that the Australian accent was considered the most pleasant English speaking accent. Who would have thought?”

For more on this topic, follow the Internet Culture Observer.

Get unlimited access to the coverage that shapes our culture.
to Rolling Stone magazine
to Rolling Stone magazine