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Meet Siri: Susan Bennett Reveals Herself as the Mysterious Voice Behind the iPhone

Siri CNN

Siri, the iPhone feature that doesn't know anything and won't help you at all so you don't even bother using it and only hear her voice when you accidentally hold your home button down for too long and it makes that stupid beeping, finally has a face to accompany the voice.

Meet Susan Bennett, a voice actor who has lent her iconic cadence to ATM machines, GPS systems and Delta airlines. 

"The first time I actually heard my voice as Siri was when my friend emailed me and said, 'Isn't this you?'" Bennett told CNN, who broke the story. "I went to the Apple site and that's where I heard the voice. I went, 'Oh! Hmm. That is me.'" 

Bennett says she recorded what would eventually become the voice of iPhone in July of 2005, for four hours a day, every day of the month. "I had absolutely no idea where they would end up," she admits.

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She continued, "Originally, it was just a bunch of sentences and phrases that were created so that every single combination of vowels and consonants and syllables could be spoken." 

All of which might explain why Siri is so darn sassy: "There are some people that just can read hour upon hour upon hour, and it's not a problem. For me, I get extremely bored," Bennett explained. "That's one of the reasons why Siri might sometimes sound like she has a bit of an attitude...Those sounds might have been recorded the last 15 minutes of those four hours."

CNN reports that Apple will not confirm that Bennett is indeed Siri. Early this year, a voiceover artist named Allison Dufty was misaccurately pegged as Siri, but she quickly posted on her site, "absolutely, positively NOT the voice of Siri." 

CNN's audio-forensics expert studied both voices and said that he is "100 percent" certain they are one and the same. And if you listen to Susan Bennett talk and close your eyes, ugh, yes, it's Siri.

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"When I first discovered that that was my voice, to be honest, it was a little creepy," she says. "I'm used to hearing my voice, maybe in the airport, but this real thing that you can interact with in your hand, it took some time to get used to it."

As for why she's finally come forward and revealed herself, Susan explains, "I really had to weigh the importance of it for me personally. I wasn't sure that I wanted that notoriety...[But after the Dufty incident] it seemed 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." 

So how do Susan and Siri get along these days? "She and I are friends now." 

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