Washington, October 4 (RIA Novosti) – For the last two years, millions of iPhone users have turned to Apple’s Siri, the voice-activated virtual assistant, for help finding nearby restaurants and gas stations, getting weather information or answering any number of odd and unpredictable questions, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Now, Susan Bennett, who says she’s the woman behind the voice, is stepping into the spotlight, talking to the media and giving iPhone customers their first look at the face behind Siri.
“You probably know me. I’m the voice actor who provided the voice for Siri,” said Bennett, during an interview with CNN Friday.
It all started, she said, back in 2005, when she spent much of July recording phrases and sentences that seemed to make no sense for a software firm in Atlanta, where she’s based.
At the time, Apple hadn’t released its Siri feature, and Bennett assumed her words would be used for company phone systems.
Then, six years later, shortly after the iPhone 4S came out with the first Siri, an acquaintance recognized Bennett’s voice.
"A colleague e-mailed me and said, 'Hey, we've been playing around with this new Apple phone. Isn't this you?'" Bennett told CNN, adding that as soon as she heard the voice, “I knew. It's obviously me. It's my voice."
Apple did not immediately respond to RIA Novosti’s request for comment, and hasn’t confirmed Siri’s identity.
But Bennett's attorney, Steve Sidman, carefully avoiding any breach of attorney-client privilege, told CNN, "I've engaged in substantial negotiations – multiple, months-long negotiations – with parties along the economic food chain, so to speak, that involved her rendering services as the voice of Siri... It's as simple as that."
Marcus Graham, the head of interactive voice technology firm GM Voices, who said he’s worked with Bennett for 25 years, is sure that Susan and Siri are one and the same.
"Most female voices are kind of thin, but she's got a rich, full voice. She's the voice of Siri. ... She's definitely the voice," he said, according to CNN.
And an audio forensics experts told the network the two voices are “identical, a 100 percent match.”
Bennett wonders about how many times a day she is secretly cursed at, and said the work isn’t as easy as it might sound.