On second birthday, the details of the real person behind Siri were revealed to the world – Susan Bennett, the actress who has lent her voice to Apple for their voice-activated virtual assistant application, popularly known as Siri.
On October 4th of 2011, Apple introduced the Siri as main focused feature of iPhone 4S, which allows iPhone and iPad users to have conversational interaction with many iOS applications, including reminders, weather, stocks, messaging, email, calendar, contacts, notes.
In an interview to CNN, Susan Bennett confirmed that her voice is behind the ironic voice-activated virtual assistant of the iPhone and iPad, which is interacting with millions of Americans and people all around the globe. Susan Bennett was unaware of the fact that one day; her voice will become a quintessential part of the iOS.
Eight years ago, she was hired by ScanSoft, a software company for a whole month, four hours a day, Susan repeated single words of English vocabulary in front of a microphone. Then Siri meets Individual words and plays, to interact with complete sentences with their users. The recordings were made in 2005, many years before Siri was acquired by Apple and then introduced on iOS devices as told to CNN on Friday.
[one_half]She came to know about the Siri when Apple introduced this feature in iPhone 4s in 2011. She received an email from her colleague about Siri in iPhone, and she went to Apple’s site and heard the voice. The moment she heard it and felt it was her voice.[/one_half]
I’m the original voice of Siri.
— Susan Bennett
She always wanted to be secret, but after 2 years, she made her first appearance because of the video posted by The Verge last month claiming Allison Dufty to be the voice of Siri. Along with this, she got motivation from the artists from UK and Australia who revealed their identities as regional Siri voices.
“I really had to weigh the importance of it for me personally. I wasn’t sure that I wanted that notoriety, and I also wasn’t sure where I stood legally. And so, consequently, I was very conservative about it for a long time,” said Susan. “And then this Verge video came out … And it seemed like everyone was clamoring to find out whom the real voice behind Siri is, and so I thought, well, you know, what the heck? This is the time.” She added.
To check the authenticity, CNN called Ed Primeau, an audio forensics expert, who analyzed Bennett’s voice against Siri’s. After studying both voices he confirmed that they are identical — a 100% match. It was also confirmed by the CEO of the VoiceOver who worked with Bennett.
Although the woman has lent his vocal talents to a long line of automated services – including Delta Airlines and the information provided by Talking ATMs, AT&T, Coca Cola and McDonalds, but her voice on a pocket device, moreover equipped with pseudo-intelligence and capable of interacting user, appeared strange to her. She was unaware of the fact that her voice would serve to power the electronic brain of the Cupertino’s iPhone.
However, Apple hasn’t confirmed it nor provided any official statement.
Let’s take a look of other Siri versions
- British Siri: Jon Briggs is the person behind the accented male voice of iPhone in Britain. His story is same as Susan as he recorded the thousands of audio snippets for the same company called Scansoft in the mid-2000.
- Australian Siri: Karen Jacobsen is the voice behind Australian Siri. She is an aspiring singer-songwriter.
Siri Inc. initially introduced Siri as an iOS application in the Apple iTunes app Store; until it was acquired by Apple in 2010. However, Apple integrated this technology to the core of iOS, first introduced in iPhone 4S. In addition, with the recent iOS 7 Apple has introduced a more fluid pronunciation style and more advanced version of Siri where you can ask more complex questions rather than just telling time, opening mail and finding restaurants.
Now, we all know the real Siri of US is Susan Bennett, and she will always be the one and only voice of the irresistible Siri.