siri ios 7

The mystique of Siri, Apple’s “personal assistant” for iOS, has been the mysterious female voice. Able to speak directions to your favorite pizza parlor as well as carry on witty banter with celebrities, finding the voice behind your iPhone has become the holy grail for love-struck geeks everywhere. Now comes a middle-aged Atlanta mom who claims she’s the original voice behind Siri, providing a peak behind the world of talking machines.

Susan Bennett, a mom from Sandy Springs, Georgia, just outside of Atlanta, never wanted the spotlight. Her voice has been used to give life to machines ranging from the an ATM to a voice announcing directions inside the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International airport. Now she is speaking out about her role as the most famous unknown voice heard by millions of people…

“It seemed like everyone was clamoring to find out who the real voice behind Siri is, so I thought, well, you know, what the heck? This is the time,” she told the CNN.

While neither Apple nor the company which later became Nuance won’t comment on Bennett’s claim, CNN interviewed lawyers and voice analysts who are confident she provided the first voice for Siri. The cable network talked to Bennett, who recounted her journey.

According to Bennett, in 2005 she made a series of voice recordings for Atlanta-based GM Voices, which had become the go-to firm for companies looking to bring to life everything from spitting out your bank balance over the phone or telling you that your call is important. GM Voices was hired by the software company ScanSoft. Turns out, ScanSoft later changed its name to Nuance.

It took nearly a decade later before Bennett revealed to CNN that she was the voice of Siri. Why the long wait? Although the UK and Australian versions of Siri had already come out, “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,” she said.

That all changed when The Verge claimed in September that voiceover personality Allison Dufty was Siri’s voice. Despite Dufty’s protests to the contrary, telling visitors to her website that she is “absolutely, positively NOT the voice of Siri,” the story fit the desired image. The belief that the voice of iPhone could only be a young, beautiful woman meshed with the fantasies of the largely male audience of tech.

But the damage was done and Bennett was forced to blow her cover. It seemed everyone knew she was Siri the moment the iPhone 4S appeared in 2011. Soon after a colleague emailed her, asking: “Isn’t this you?” Her 36-year-old son calls himself “Son of Siri” and joked that he’s had say “Stop, Mom” to Siri.

Steve Sidman, Bennett’s lawyer since 2012, said he’s had “months-long negotiations” with companies about using her “as the voice of Siri.” He would only describe the companies as “parties along the economic food chain.” GM Voices CEO Marcus Graham quickly confirmed to CNN Bennett is the original voice of Siri. “Most female voices are kind of thin, but she’s got a rich, full voice. Yes, she’s the voice of Siri.”

An audio expert with 30 years experience also compared Graham to Siri and told the news service “they are identical — a 100% match.”

  • jocastro

    interesting,

  • MyFlammingSkull

    Meh

  • appl3h4ck3r

    Why no pic?

    • CryptoCoin420

      because shes old as F*ck

      • Guest

        Everyone is guilty of doing that.

      • Yunsar

        You should check the Australian Siri

    • Moi

      Google it and you’ll find lots of pic

    • Moi

      There is even a video of her on YouTube ,

  • thecrack101

    cool

  • x_x

    All my fantasies = shattered. I hoped Siri was a sexy Scarlet Johansson lookalike.

  • Micky Ganon

    siri old women

  • Jacob S

    Lol now possibly no one will say “I love you Siri” lmao

  • hkgsulphate

    i thought the voices were non-human….

    • Trollstein Trollerso

      All voices, human or seemingly non-human, are derived from actual people. It’s virtually impossible to create any kind of voice without having a human counterpart. Voices can be altered using technology, but ultimately, there’s a person behind those words.

  • Roger Rodriguez

    Today is siri’s birthday

    • Jonathan

      You’re right! 😀

  • Christopher

    Love how she had no idea what her voice would be used for lol

  • seyss

    wonder why the article didn’t mention Siri has a new voice now……..

  • Patrick

    damn i imagined siri as alexis texas ( if you don’t know who she is google her, it should say all the couches she sat on)

    • Jonathan

      Excuse me while I pick up my jaw off the ground.

  • Palmer Paul

    She didn’t sound like Siri in the interview…

  • Chris Holden

    i prefer the siri from the big bang theory

  • Lucas Tres

    I saw a documentary on the Verge about the new Siri voice, and it’s another woman, she’s younger but not that much. They said they need old people because if they need to record new lines the voice has to be the same for years, which just happen with old people.

  • good

  • Um… Voice Control?

    • sue

      yeah that is completely the reason for recording in 2005

  • sue

    as thats what siri said, “um… voice control?” yeah! siri shares a voice with voice control. must be sisters.

    • sue

      hahah just kiding siri and voice control are the same

  • jack

    At the end of the article you meant to say Bennet to siri yes?

  • mickrussom

    Apple – screwed her by deny fame and money to her. Apple, the jack booted oligarchical collectivist spying company overcharging and in cahoots with Police State USSA.