The woman behind the voice on the iPhone: Siri can be a bit “attitude” at first because… I’m tired
- Tram Ho
Bennett shared, she used to sing commercials for a few studios in Atlanta (USA). In a promotional project, when a voice actor did not appear, Bennett was invited to replace. Upon completion, the studio owner commented, “ Susan, your voice has no intonation. Try practicing with this recording .” Bennett has been training in voice acting since then and also started his career doing this.
In July 2005, Bennett made recordings that would later be used for the popular virtual assistant Siri. However, she shared that she had no idea about the idea at the time. Bennett received a recording contract for ScanSoft, an IVR (interactive voice response) company, now renamed Nuance. Instead of having to record common phrases like “ Thank you for calling ” or “ Dial please ”, Bennett had to record a variety of English sound combinations, street names and home addresses.
“I was recording at home four hours a day, five days a week for the whole of July. At first it was fun, but then it was exhausting, ” says Bennett.
“ For some people reading for hours on end is not a problem. But I got pretty bored and I took a break after that. That’s one of the reasons why you sometimes find Siri a little…attitude ,” says Bennett, ” These sounds can be recorded on the last 15 minutes of a 4-hour shift .”
Six years later, a colleague emailed her and said: “ We are reviewing the features on this new iPhone, is that your voice? “. Bennett said she had no idea at the time, until she went to Apple’s website and watched the introductory video.
“ScanSoft paid me through contract and Apple bought the recordings from this company so I never received a dime or any recognition from Apple. This is a very strange situation ,” said Bennett.
Apple did not confirm Susan Bennett as Siri. An audio expert with 30 years of experience who has studied the voices of Susan Bennett and Siri claims it is “100% sure” that they are the same.
She also shared that although she was very proud that her voice could become so famous, it also affected her work. “ I love my voice work, but I also don’t want to be seen as a voice assistant ,” Susan said.
After that, Apple also added different voices and languages to Siri. John Briggs, who voiced the original British version of Siri, and Karen Jacobsen, who voiced the Australian original Siri, both have Bennett-like experiences. They recorded in 2005 without knowing that the recordings would later be purchased by Apple for Siri use.
All three said that Apple’s failure to pay them means that they do not have a non-disclosure agreement. So Bennett, Jacobsen, and Briggs all started using this information to promote themselves.
Bennett has appeared on numerous television shows, radio shows and Ted Talks.
Bennett shared, in addition to Siri, her voice is also used in many other places such as Atlanta Airport or TV commercials. ” I think a lot of people don’t even think that behind the voice of an AI is a human ,” Bennett said.
Over the past 10 years, Apple has updated Siri’s voice several times, and Bennett’s voice is no longer in use. “ The original Siri was a bit sly and clever before,” says Bennett. Many people have come to me just to see what I have to say. But now Siri sounds pretty bland .” Even so, even when Siri was first introduced in 2011, Bennett never used his own voice assistant.
Reference: Business Insider
Source : Genk