Real Person Behind Siri’s Voice – A Report

Apple’s Siri (in case you don’t know) is a personal Voice assistant which was announced along with Apple iPhone 4S in 2011 and ever since, it became a kind of cultural phenomenon and one of the most profound and loved feature of Apple iPhone and iPads. It helps you perform normal tasks like calling or messaging someone, browsing something on the web and finding restaurants or nearby stuffs or route to any other location (it’s a huge list) , by just commanding Siri via your voice. This is one of those features which make a smartphone really smart.

You may have asked Siri many questions or asked to do many tasks, But have you ever wondered who is the main person behind Siri voice. Have you asked Siri “Whose Voice Do You Have”?

This question, along with millions of Apple fans intrigued me as well and everyone wished to know from where Siri got that voice. In case you are still curious about it, We might have the answer you are looking for.

Susan Bennett – Person behind Siri’s Voice.

Susan Bennett - Person behind Siri voice

Recently CNN confirmed that it has discovered the Person behind Siri. Susan Bennett (a voice over actress from Atlanta) came forward to reveal her identity as the voice behind Siri in an Interview with CNN.

Story Behind Siri’s Voice from Susan’s Bennett (CNN report)

Talking about Siri Susan told –“A Friend e-mailed me (about Siri) and said, ‘Hey, we’ve been playing around with this new Apple phone. Isn’t this you?” Since Susan was not having the latest iPhone, she went over to Apple Site.

She also told CNN that she was working on an hourly paid basis. She worked four hours a day for the whole July month in year 2005. She recorded her voice segments  in her home recording booth. She however didn’t revealed the amount she was being paid. But she never had any clue that it would be heard in a device residing in every one’s pocket.

This was surprising to know that Siri’s working was started back in 2005 but was launched only in 2011. It was even more surprising to know that the working of Siri was started back when not even a single iPhone was launched. The first iPhone (iPhone 2G) was launched on January 9th 2007. At that time of recording I cannot even think of a single person except for the visionary and the ultimate person – Late. Steve Jobs to think about something as an iPhone. Even the rumours and speculation about iPhone started just around 9 months before the release of the first iPhone.

GM Voices is also an Atlanta based company which recorded voices for automated voice technologies of ScanSoft Software Company. Bennett signed the deal in June 2005 offering her voice for a database to construct speech. According to the reports, ScanSoft acquired Nuance Communications in October 2005, and then renamed itself as Nuance. Just for the records, Nuance built the technology that powers Siri.

“I’m the voice actor who provided the voice of Siri,” Susan Bennett

However, Susan’s statement was declined by Trudi Muller (A spokesperson at Apple) and also Nuance. But CNN in order to find the truth, asked an audio-forensic expert Ed Primeau, if Susan was the person behind Siri or not. As a result Primeau commented that he is 100% sure that the two voices are same.

CNN also explained concisely how audio synthesizing is done.

Voice experts pulling out vowels, consonants, syllables and diphthongs, and play with pitch and speed after voice artists record their voice. Voice snippets are then synthesised through a process named concatenation, through words, sentences and paragraphs are built. –CNN report.

apple siri voiceWhen being asked why she didn’t stepped forward and why she came up to reveal her identity now, She answered that she was worried about her legal position being in the contract with the company and she was not even sure if she wanted notoriety hence she held her back from revealing her identity. She also added up that it was a kind of bizarre (or creepy to be precise) for her to know that Siri was using her voice and also strange in the beginning, conversating with her iPhone’s Voice assistant before becoming used to it. But a recent video story which somehow spreaded misinformation that Allison Dufty was the person behind Siri’s voice, provoked Bennett to step forward and identify her the real one.

A Video Report From CNN

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One thought on “Real Person Behind Siri’s Voice – A Report

  1. Wow, amazing story! It crazy how she didn’t even know what she was doing it for when she recorded the voice segments! And then heard about her voice being used from friends, although Apple still denies it? Very interesting article, definitely learned something new. Thank you!

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