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Woman Behind Siri’s Voice Stunned It Was Her Voice

"Woman behind iconic AI assistant had no idea her voice was being used"

The woman whose voice was used for the first iteration of Siri claims that she had no idea what she was recording at the time, but is now one of the most recognised voices in the world.

We don’t have hard data on that, but considering how widespread iPhones are and how many people have probably used or at least heard of Siri, it seems like a safe prediction.

The point is that Susan Bennett, like so many other individuals, stumbled into her largest part entirely by mistake; she wasn’t even working as a voiceover actor in 2005.

She was working as a recording artist in an Atlanta studio when an actor who was supposed to record for a software firm failed to show up.

“I got into voiceover acting by mistake,” she told Insider.

At one point in my life, I was a jingle singer based in Atlanta, where I recorded a number of advertisements.

A voice actor for another commercial didn’t show up while I was there recording one day.

After we had completed recording the song, the studio owner remarked, “Susan, you don’t have an accent. Please come over here to transcribe this.

“Everything worked out great; I hired a voice coach, and that was the start of it all.”

The first recordings were made in 2005, six years before Apple released Siri, so she had no idea that her voice would become one of the most recognisable in the world.

There were some strange elements, though.

Susan elaborated, “I recorded what would become the legendary personal assistant.

In retrospect, I see that I should have known better, but at the time, I didn’t.

“I obtained a job recording for what used to be named ScanSoft but is now called Nuance, an IVR (interactive voice response) firm.

Thanks for calling” and “please dial one” are two phrases that come to mind when picturing a script for an interactive voice response system.

“Instead, I was made to read gibberish like “cow hoist in the tug hut today” or “say shift new problem today” as they strove to collect every possible combination of English sounds.

Addresses and street names were also read to me.

The entire month of July was spent with me recording at home for four hours a day, five days a week.

Just the first few hundred were actually enjoyable; after that, it just became old.

What she had done only dawned on her afterwards.

Six years later, another voice actor texted her, “Hey, we’re playing around with this new iPhone — isn’t this you?”

The conversation was completely beyond my head.

I instantly went to Apple’s website to listen and was convinced it was my voice.

Due to the timing of her work predating Apple’s personal assistant, she never received anything from them but also did not sign a non-disclosure agreement, leaving the door open for Bennett and the Siris of other countries to profit off their odd popularity. Bennett explained, “Because Apple didn’t compensate us, we also didn’t have a confidentiality agreement.

It was like, ‘Well, we might as well try to make it work for us,’ so we did.

To put it simply, we started advertising ourselves.

I have appeared on television, delivered a TEDx talk, and been interviewed on the radio.

It’s not something I would have considered doing 15 years ago, but I’m having a blast doing it!

She has performed at several venues throughout the years; if you happen to be at the Delta gate in the Atlanta airport, you may hear her.

Then there are commercials that air on television, however her agency had to initiate payment for those.

Siri has been changed so that it is no longer her voice, allowing her to begin using the service at last.

“I never chatted to Siri when she had my voice; it was just too odd,” she said.

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