Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

Siri: My Friends Told Me I Was Apple’s Voice Assistant | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Susan Bennett, a voice-over actor from suburban Atlanta, Georgia

London- Millions all over the world talk to her daily. She directs them to the nearest restaurants, cafes and warns them of changes in weather. She also accompanies them during the periods of boredom. She is Siri, iPhone’s voice assistant.

Susan Bennett, an American actress from Georgia, did not expect to reach fame at an age of 62 and that her voice will reach millions of iPhone 4s users after Apple’s decision to adopt her voice as the first voice assistant for smartphones in 2011.

Bennett did not even know that until days after launching Siri when her friends discovered her voice while unveiling the features of the latest Apple products.

She told Asharq Al-Awsat that she never dealt with Apple before and wasn’t aware that the voice recordings she made were going to be used as a smart assistant project. On the reason behind choosing her voice among hundred other samples, Bennett said: “In fact, I have no idea why and how my voice was chosen. It might have been chosen by the original engineers or maybe by Steve Jobs himself. It is a mystery to me.”

Commenting on the influence of her unexpected fame on her personal and professional life, Bennett said: “I had no idea how much my voice was famous and widely spread via Siri.
I still carry out interviews regarding the program and I have a copy of Siri original speech on how the voice was recorded on Siri and it is available on www.SusanCBennett.com.”

She added that people don’t know her on the street and that is why she can still maintain her privacy, “and this matters a lot to me.” Yet, Bennett revealed that she hesitated before revealing her identity. It took her years to take this decision because she wasn’t sure how this experience would affect her career.