Siri’s original voice belongs to Susan Bennett

I am sure I am not the only one who was questioning herself who is behind Siri’s original voice, and now enjoys the answer. Did you know that CNN has confirmed that Susan Bennett is the official Siri voice? Well, let me tell you more about it.

In 2005, Miss Bennett was contacted by ScanSoft who was looking to record a voice for an undisclosed project. Susan Bennett had done a lot of recordings before that, so they found her in their database. She used to record four hours every day during one month. She recorded booth reading and nonsensical phrases, sentences and words that have been separated in vowels and consonants, syllables, diphthongs and triphthongs. Then all these were build up in a process called concatenation to build the words and sentences used in Siri’s answers.

Susan Bennett confesses: "There are some people that just can read hour upon hour upon hour, and it is not a problem, " she said. "For me, I get extremely bored ... So I just take breaks. That is one of the reasons why Siri might sometimes sound like she has a bit of an attitude. Those sounds might have been recorded the last 15 minutes of those four hours."

Miss Bennett was not aware of what was going on until she got a phone from a colleague of her after the iPhone 4s launch, who has raised her attention about it. She went online and listened to videos, and realised it was her voice.

Ms Bennett started her career 40 years ago as the voice of the ATM card machines and continued with GPS devices, loudspeaker announcements and phone messages.

"I began my career as a machine many years ago," she noted. "I'm sure that you hear my voice at some point every day."

Siri means "beautiful woman who leads you to victory" in Norwegian and is the actual name of the first child of the guy who developed Siri.

Apple did not confirm Miss Bennett is the original voice of Siri, but the audio-forensics experts say is “100% sure” she is the voice. Going further, Apple was not the one who hired Miss Bennett because Siri has been founded by SRI International. Apple was the one who acquired Siri in 2010, a while after after Bennett had her voice recorded.

If you want to read the whole story about her, check out the CNN article.

You are probably questioning, like I am, why did not she tell anyone so far? Here is what she confessed: "I was not sure that I wanted the notoriety," Bennett tells CNN, explaining her delay in coming forward, "and I also was not sure where I stood legally." After she read the article from The Verge she realized is time to say it out loudly. Initially, the voice was thought to belong to Allison Dufty, another lady who has a nice voice and has done recordings at the same GM Voices Atlanta facility as Miss Bennett.

"I was conservative about it for a long time... then this Verge video came out... and it seems 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."

Take a seat and listen carefully and then decide yourself is Miss Susan Bennett is Siri’s original voice:

Published
May 07, 2014