The Woman Behind Siri's Voice Reveals Herself: 'It's Kinda Creepy'


One of the world’s greatest, most enduring mysteries has finally been solved. No, we haven’t figured out what Stonehenge is for, how the pyramids were built, who really killed JFK, what caused the Bloop, the identity of the man in the Taman Shud case, or why Jennifer Aniston keeps getting roles in major studio films — we’ve discovered the real identity of Siri. She’s a voice actor named Susan Bennett, and, just like you and me, she’s a little weirded out by Siri.

Bennett revealed her Siri-dom to CNN, explaining that the voice we now know as the slightly exasperated-sounding know-it-all who lives inside our iPhones was birthed during a month of recording sessions in July of 2005. The veteran voice actor, who has been the voice of ATMs and those GPS machines that cab drivers rely on, had no idea that her voice would be digitally chopped up and reassembled into Siri; she found out when an iPhone-owning friend informed her that Apple’s new fancy automated question-answering assistant sounded a heckuva lot like Bennett. Unsurprisingly, that was weird for her.

Apple’s not confirming that Siri is Bennett and Bennett is Siri, but CNN used science and experts to all but verify that the voice must be Bennett. Science! Experts!

As a non-iPhone user (I finally relinquished my old Blackberry in favor of an Android phone last week because I’m terrified of technology like the tribespeople in The Gods Must Be Crazy feared the glass Coke bottle), all of my interactions with Siri have been either my friends demonstrating some Siri-related malfunction (Siri has a terrible time understanding Dodai, for example) or asking Siri awful questions and then being delighted when the program sasses them. About a month ago, I was on vacation and my boyfriend, unsure of how New Mexico traffic laws worked, asked “Siri, can you make a right turn on a red light in Albuquerque?” Siri responded, “No, I cannot.” Like a jerk.

Because of my limited exposure to the Siri program, if I were actual, real life friends with Susan Bennett, it would probably be difficult, mentally, for me to separate my frustration with Siri from my feelings for the actual human behind the program. Fucked up, right?

Siri, find me a very patient therapist.


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