Siri's voice revealed: CNN discovers Susan Bennett in Atlanta airport
CNN found Bennett pretty much by accident when a reporter interviewed the voiceover artist for a piece about the Atlanta airport -- the world's busiest transportation hub. Bennett had provided the voice used in announcements at the vast Delta terminals, and the connection with Siri came out during the interview.
Bennett actually took several months to confirm her identity as the Siri voice. She was initially concerned about legal issues and had no definitive proof that she really was the one speaking on millions of iPhones. Once she determined that she was under no obligation to keep quiet, however, Bennett followed the examples of her English and Australian counterparts and went public.
It is likely that the recordings that eventually transformed into Siri were made in the summer of 2005, when Bennett received a contract from ScanSoft to record her voice for a speech database. Later known as Nuance Communications, the company is believed to have provided voice work for Apple.
When the first Siri-enabled iPhones came out on Oct. 4, 2011, Bennett didn't initially know anything important had happened. Friends told her about the similarity of the voice, so she checked. "Oh, I knew," she told CNN. "It's obviously me. It's my voice."
Voice experts who analyzed recordings of Bennett alongside Siri agree. So does Bennett's son -- he had to turn the Siri function off on his own phone to not feel hounded by his mom. Apple hasn't commented, but software companies usually keep such things anonymous anyway.
If you feel like you have heard Siri's voice in other locations, you may be right. Bennett has provided voiceovers for GPS devices, commercials and automated phone systems. And unless the woman, her friends and expert voice analysts are wrong, Susan Bennett also is the voice of Siri.