A story on CNN.com claims that Atlanta voiceover professional Susan Bennett is the original voice of Siri, Apple’s iPhone voice application. According to the story, Bennett did voice work for the software company ScanSoft in 2005. CNN says ScanSoft was then purchased by Nuance Communications, a company that is credited with providing Apple the technology behind Siri.
Bennett told CNN.com reporter Jessica Ravitz that she remained quiet about being the voice of Siri until now because she was unsure if she wanted the attention.
“I really had to weigh the importance of it for me personally. I wasn’t sure I wanted that notoriety, and I also wasn’t sure where I stood legally,” Bennett told Ravitz.
It wasn’t until The Verge ran a story mistakenly claiming Siri’s voice belonged to voiceover artist Allison Duffy that Bennett decided she was ready to talk. (Duffy has since posted a comment on her website, saying she is not the voice of Siri.)
Apple won’t comment on Siri’s voice, but CNN.com hired audio forensic expert Ed Primeau to analyze Bennett’s voice in connection to Siri. “I believe, and I’ve lived this for 30 years, no two voices are the same,” Primeau told CNN.com after comparing Bennett’s voice to Siri’s, “They are identical – a 100 percent match.”
Bennett says she has known ever since a colleague recognized her voice when the iPhone 4S came out in 2011 and emailed her to ask about it. “Oh, I knew,” she told Ravitz, “It’s obviously me. It’s my voice.”
You can read more about CNN’s interview with Bennett on our partner site at Marketing Land, or watch the interview below and compare Bennett’s voice to the original Siri voice. (With the release of iOS7, Apple has updated Siri, now offering users a choice of voices.)
Susan Bennett is one of many voiceover actors whose voices will forever be stuck in our heads, joining the ranks of people like Elwood Edwards who told millions of AOL users, “Welcome! You’ve got mail.” Hal 9000, the infamous computer from the film 2001: A Space Odyssey and its sequel, was brought to life by Douglas Rein who may be best known for the line, “I’m sorry, Dave, I’m afraid I can’t do that.”
Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry’s wife Majel Bennett was the voice of the USS Enterprise’s onboard computer, and Dick Tufeld gave the world one of my favorite catchphrases, “Danger, Will Robinson!” as the robot from Lost in Space, both the original series and the 1998 film.