Meet the original voice of Apple’s Siri (with video)

“For the past two years, she’s been a pocket and purse accessory to millions of Americans. She’s starred alongside Samuel L. Jackson and Zooey Deschanel,” Jessica Ravitz reports for CNN. “She’s provided weather forecasts and restaurant tips, been mocked as useless and answered absurd questions about what she’s wearing.”

“She is Siri, Apple’s voice-activated virtual ‘assistant’ introduced to the masses with the iPhone 4S on October 4, 2011,” Ravitz reports. “Behind this groundbreaking technology there is a real woman.”

“She had no idea she’d someday be speaking to more than 100 million people through a not-yet-invented phone,” Ravitz reports. “Her name is Susan Bennett and she lives in suburban Atlanta.”

Ravitz reports, “Until now, it’s been a career that’s afforded her anonymity. But a new Apple mobile operating system, iOS 7, with new Siri voices means that Bennett’s reign as the American Siri is slowly coming to an end.”

MacDailyNews Take: Look at the iOS 7 adoption rates. There’s nothing “slow” about it.

“With iOS 7 she is passing the telephonic torch to a new Siri. Bennett would be lying if she said she wasn’t a bit disappointed, but in her field of work she’s learned to expect evolution — and even revolution,” Ravitz reports. “As technology improves, and the concatenation process becomes less robotic and more human, Bennett thinks anything will be possible. ‘I really see a time when you’ll probably be able to put your own voice on your phone and have your own voice talk back to you,’ she said. ‘Which I’m used to, but maybe you aren’t.'”

Read more in the full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Readers “Kewo,” “Chadwick Collins,” and “ob1spyker” for the heads up.]

21 Comments

  1. Siri came out in 2011 (on the iPhone). The original voice was recorded SIX years earlier, even before the first iPhone!

    Let us not forget, though, Siri was an independent company, so this gig wasn’t for Apple.

  2. Is it just me, or the iPhone 5, that the new Siri, both male and female voices sound worse than the original?

    “Most female voices are kind of thin, but she’s got a rich, full voice.”

    That full, rich voice is gone, replaced with a nasal-toned substitute. So is the male voice. They both sound like they’re speaking through a filter of some sort. The remastered “classic” ringtones have also lost their full richness.

    This poor audio profile is one of the few disappointments I have with iOS 7, but it’s a biggie.

  3. Seeing as Apple and TOMTOM are associated through the Maps App, maybe they can share some of the voices as well. Can you imagine having either John Cleese or Billy Connolly respond to your questions??

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