With the sale of the iPhone 4S comes Siri, the voice behind the machine. And while it has a generally pleasant female voice and some interesting personality quirks, we would really like to see replaceable modules for the times that we want someone else to talk to us. A phone should match our moods, or remind us of our favorite computer heroes and villains of yore. Here are my own personal favorites.

  1. HAL 9000. Of course, the gold standard as far as computer voices and personalities are concerned. Douglas Rain's calm and somewhat creepy voicing of the computer from 2001 has got to be the one we want to listen to keeping us cool when we are lost in space, or need to open a pod door or two.

  2. Spock. While not a computer voice, this still should be on my list. How can you logically not want to listen Leonard Nimoy all day long? I met him and his wife on a cross-country flight once, and it turns out she is the nerd in the family.

  3. Star Trek Enterprise ship's computer voiced by Majel Barrett. Slam dunk for this list.

    The Authorization Was Entered by Commander Chakotay

  4. GLaDOS in Valve's Half-Life games, voiced by Ellen McLain. Somewhat mechanical, somewhat retro choice.

  5. KITT from Knight Rider. Not much on the UI (well this was a 1980s TV show) but the voice of William Daniels as the automated car side kick will always remind us of his St. Elsewhere Dr. Mark Craig character. Or that's what she said. (The video clip below is from a Comedy Central roast.)

  6. Eddie, the ship's computer in the Hitchhiker's Guide TV series, voiced on the TV series by David Tate. Eddie is always just somewhat annoying.

  7. Deep Thought, the other computer in the Guide series, voiced by Valentine Dyall in TV and the namesake for IBM's chess playing computer. Yes, the answer is 42. What was the question?


    So Long And Thanks For All The Fish

  8. Teletraan I, the ship's computer of the Transformers, voiced by silver-tongued Casey Kasem. We can get our top 40 lists of favorite places to go from this personality.

  9. Rosie from the Jetsons, their always patient robotic maid, voiced by Jean Vander Pyl.

  10. Sulu from Star Trek. Many of my fellow RWW'ers wanted that lovely buttery George Takei as the voice behind the iPhone. And we won't divulge which one of our staff has the best impression.

I am sure you have your own favorite voices, please share with a link if you have them in our comments.