"I'm the original voice of Siri." That's the quote CNN attributes to Susan Bennett, a voice talent that says her voice was used for Apple's virtual assistant. "I wasn't sure that I wanted the notoriety," Bennett tells CNN, explaining her delay in coming forward, "and I also wasn't sure where I stood legally." In fact, it was The Verge's article on synthesized speech that prompted her to come forward.
CNN says the article, which looks at how synthetic voices are created, led some to incorrectly deduce Allison Dufty, a voice talent who was recorded at the same GM Voices Atlanta facility as Bennett, was the voice of Siri. "I was conservative about it for a long time... then this Verge video came out... and it seems like everyone was clamoring to find out who the real voice behind Siri is, and so I thought, well, you know, what the heck? This is the time." Coincidentally, today is the second anniversary of Siri's grand unveiling. Quite the timing.
Bennett says the Siri voice was recorded in 2005 at GM Voices on behalf of ScanSoft, a software company that was working on an undisclosed project. Apple did not confirm Bennett's story, but an audio-forensics expert says he is "100 percent certain" she is the voice, and Bennett's lawyer, who cannot confirm the details of confidential contracts, notes he's had "substantial negotiations" with "parties along the economic food chain" regarding hiring Bennett as the voice of Siri. You can read the full story on Bennett over at CNN.
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