Susan Bennett claims to be the voice behind application
By Patrick Vaillancourt, News Editor
A woman from Georgia is claiming to be the voice of Siri, Apple’s voice-activated assistant.
Susan Bennett, who lives in the suburbs of Atlanta, came out publicly claiming that she was the voice of Siri, which launched on the Apple iPhone 4S two years ago.
While Apple has not commented on the claim, Bennett’s lawyer, as well as independent forensic voice analysts, state that the comparison between Siri and Bennett’s voice is “100 per cent” the same.
Bennett got her beginning in voice acting in the 1970s and had no idea that her voice would one day literally be in the pockets of millions of iPhone users.
Bennett told CNN, the outlet which broke the story, that it was her friend who discovered her as being the voice of Siri, and that Bennett was completely unaware that Apple was using her voice for their new virtual assistant.
“I went to the Apple site. That’s when I heard the voice and I went, ‘Oh, that is me!’”
Bennett said she began recording on the project in July 2005, working four hours a day in her home-based recording studio. Bennett had been presented to ScanSoft by GM Voices, a company with which she had done a lot of work. The recordings were for a voice database, but they would one day find their way to Apple.
Bennett is a proven talent in the voice recording business, having done voice work for GPS, commercials, and Delta Air Lines in the past.
In response to questions about her going public, she said that she is not bound by nondisclosure agreements and that recent inaccurate reports about the origins of Siri played a role in her coming forward. Earlier this year, reports began to surface about another voice actor, Allison Dufty, being the voice of Siri—a claim which Dufty vehemently denied on her website.
“Allison Dufty is an award-winning writer, producer and voiceover artist AND is absolutely, positively NOT the voice of Siri—this is a case of mistaken identity,” says Dufty’s website.
Bennett explained to CNN that years have now passed and that, since the story was of such intense public interest, that it was time for her to come forward. The voices of Siri in the United Kingdom and Australia have already been identified.
“I wasn’t sure that I wanted that notoriety… [But after the Dufty incident] it seemed like everyone was clamoring to find out who the real voice behind Siri is, and so I thought, well, you know, what the heck? This is the time.”
Apple is reported to be entertaining ideas of rebranding Siri by integrating it with its reported new acquirement, social search engine Cue, but the company does not comment publicly on future product or software releases until they are launched.