After years there is a credible name: journalist Brad Stone claims to have finally found who the voice of Alexa, Amazon's digital assistant, belongs to.
The voice of Alexa, Amazon's voice assistant, has become recognizable over time. Calm, harmonious and warm, it is based on the timbre of a real person that, after several processes, has been transformed into an algorithm capable of perfectly reproducing any kind of phrase that needs to be spoken by the company's smart speakers. But who's behind it? An American journalist has discovered it.
According to what Brad Stone reported in the book "Amazon Unbound", to give voice - to all intents and purposes - to the original Alexa, that is the one in English, would be an actress specialized in dubbing from Boulder, Colorado. Inside the book that should soon arrive in bookstores (but the American version is already on Amazon, of course), Stone supports this thesis following a conversation with some exponents of the voiceover scene, artists who lend their work in various sectors of the market. According to the journalist, although Amazon has never revealed the name of the "real" Alexa, some audio files confirm that the origin of the voice of the assistant of the e-commerce giant is to be found in Nina Rolle.
Alexa, whose voice is it?
Nina Rolle, this is the name of the actress and singer who would be at the base of the voice expression of the smart assistant of the company led by Jeff Bezos, would have been chosen after a long selection process. To affirm it in its own book is the same Stone that, subsequently, cites some commercials that after the listening would dispel any doubt about the identity.
Neither the artist nor Amazon have confirmed the discovery. During an initial contact, the actress claimed that she was not authorized to speak with the reporter on the subject while, as far as Amazon is concerned, the request to be put in touch with Alexa's original voice actor was refused.
Mystery? Definitely, but it certainly wouldn't be the first case, given what happened in the past with Siri, Apple's assistant. Only in 2013, after three years from the appearance on Cupertino's devices, Susan Bennett revealed her true identity. The voice actress was convinced by an article in the American magazine The Verge dedicated to the whole process behind the realization of the synthetic voices.
Behind the voices of the assistants, available on the different devices, there is a complex work of synthesis that starts from the recording and the analysis of some peculiar characteristics. Infatti, durante l’ascolto, dettagli come l’intonazione e l’espressività giocano un ruolo fondamentale nell’accostamento dei suoni a una fonte umana, tutti dettagli che non vengono prodotti naturalmente dalle macchine ma che possono essere ricreati attraverso algoritmi mirati messi a punto dagli esperti.
Alexa, chi è Nina Rolle?
Dal sito ufficiale di Nina Rolle è possibile conoscere qualche dettaglio di più sulla sua vita professionale. Voice actor, storyteller e veterana del settore, ha alle spalle moltissime collaborazioni tra cui quelle con Volkswagen, Honda, Mott e altre aziende del panorama statunitense e internazionale. Di recente, l’attrice si è dedicata anche agli audiobook, collaborando ad alcuni progetti realizzati da autrici impegnate nel sociale.
Ovviamente, nella sua biografia non ci sono informazioni che la collegano ad Amazon ma, ascoltando la sua voce, è possibile avere un piccolo assaggio di quella che potrebbe essere l’originale Alexa.