Meet the real Alexa: voice actor reportedly responsible for Amazon’s AI assistant revealed

a woman posing for a picture: Journalist Brad Stone says Nina Rolle is the original voice of Alexa. © Image: Nina Rolle Journalist Brad Stone says Nina Rolle is the original voice of Alexa.

Amazon’s Alexa has a voice familiar to millions: calm, warm, and measured. But like most synthetic speech, its tones have a human origin. There was someone whose voice had to be recorded, analyzed, and algorithmically reproduced to create Alexa as we know it now. Amazon has never revealed who this “original Alexa” is, but journalist Brad Stone says he tracked her down, and she is Nina Rolle, a voiceover artist based in Boulder, Colorado.

The claim comes from Stone’s upcoming book on the tech giant, Amazon Unbound, an excerpt of which is published here in Wired. Neither Amazon nor Rolle confirmed or denied Stone’s guess, which he says is based on conversations with the professional voiceover community, but Rolle’s voice alone makes for a compelling case.

Listen to the videos below: the first an advertisement for Cherry Creek North, “Denver’s premier outdoor retail destination,” and the second an introduction to Hapyn, a social app that seems to now be defunct (its Play Store entry was last updated in 2017). You can absolutely hear Alexa’s reassuring tones in Rolle’s voice. Or, to be more precise, you can absolutely hear where Alexa’s reassuring tones come from when listening to Rolle.

Meet the real Alexa: voice actor reportedly responsible for Amazon’s AI assistant revealed