Who Is the Voice of Siri?

whoissirisvoice

Update 10.04.13: According to an expose on CNN, the original voice of Siri has finally been identified. It’s Susan Bennett of Atlanta, Georgia, an accomplished voiceover actress whose familiar voice can also be heard in announcements at the Atlanta airport and countless TV commercials, radio voiceovers, narrations, jingles, and much more.

Here‘s CNN’s full report on the matter, complete with extensive proof that Bennett is indeed the iconic, familiar voice of Siri. Reportedly, she decided to come forward now that Apple has replaced her voice with two new ones — one female, one male — as of iOS 7. Embedded below is CNN’s televised report on Bennett.

Original article:

Having (finally!) had a chance to try out Siri for myself, listening to her intelligent voice and getting her remarkably accurate help on a variety of tasks… I can’t help wondering who the voice-over artist is.

If you live in the U.K., your Siri, a male virtual assistant named “Danny,” is voiced by one Jon Briggs, a former tech journalist. There’s a whole big story that goes along with this — apparently, Briggs was hired to do his voice-over work for the company that first invented Siri, but his voice recordings were part of what Apple acquired when they purchased Siri several years ago. So now he’s the official British voice of Siri, even though he was never hired by Apple. So he’s not bound by any contract with Apple to never speak about his work.

But here in the U.S., our Siri is female. So who recorded her voice?

Apple ain’t saying. Not surprising, since Apple’s every movement is hidden behind more security and secrecy than the Vatican. No doubt whoever she is, Apple had her sign a big stack of NDAs (non-disclosure agreements). Yet I wonder what Apple hopes to achieve by keeping the voice-over artist’s identity a secret. Are they trying to prevent her from being hired by Google or some other competitor to voice their Siri competitor software? That would sure suck for the voice-over artist. Can you imagine giving your voice to something as high-profile as Siri, and not being able to put it on your resume?

I’ve spent hours searching online to find out anything I can about the woman who voiced Siri. Not only is there nothing to be found, I was surprised to discover that no one is asking.

Well, I think we should ask. Not because I want to expose Apple’s biggest secrets to the world or anything. I just think credit should be given where it’s due. This woman has a voice that’s heard all over the United States on a daily basis. Even people who don’t have an iPhone 4S know what she sounds like, thanks to Apple’s TV commercials and the wider cultural impact the software has had. Hers has quickly become one of the most famous and recognizable voices in the world — and yet no one has a clue who gave her her voice.

I want to know. Don’t you?

Comments

  1. Kiljoy616 says

    I could be there is no real person behind it. Look at some of the Japanese singer which where later discovered to be multiple women voices created into one seamless voice men liked.

  2. D.DITSCHKER says

    I think that Siris voice in the U.S. sounds like Lana Parrilla.She is on the ABC show Once Upon A Time.

    • Jason says

      I was thinking the same thing. My wife is watching Sleepless in Seattle in the other room. I was like, what the heck is Siri doing in that movie.

    • Lisa in Baltimore says

      She died over 5 years ago- unless they sampled her voice from the all the Star Trek series which I doubt. I’m going with real but an unknown for property protection.

    • Patrizia says

      If it’s a real person it could be that Apple doesn’t want her ‘face’ to be revealed so as not to allow anybody to like her or dislike her. As Siri ‘the voice’ you can imagine her to have any face that you like.

  3. Austin says

    I live in Seattle and I was on my iPhone at one of Seattle’s main transit hubs, and it has an AI voice warming of incoming trains, times, everything you’d need. It was Siri’s voice. Mind blown

    • Joe macey says

      I know who she is…I’m related to her. Wish I could tell you more…I will tell u this. She’s American. A real women. A very famous voice. Done tons of commercials and lots of other stuff.

      • auramac says

        I heard her on TV tonight. I’m pretty sure it was her- a real person. If Apple aint telling, then neither am I.

    • Dean says

      I don’t have nor have I ever used an iPhone, but Cira Larkin does sound like the voice from the commercials. Good catch esp.

      • Dean says

        It is Cira Larkin. In the demos section of her website it has a Siri sample as #9. Siri = Cira. Clever.

        • says

          That demo sample can’t be trusted… It’s a parody, and it’s not using samples of Siri’s real voice.

          I’m not saying that Cira Larkin isn’t the voice of Siri. She could be. Her voice does sound similar. But the voice in that demo video doesn’t use the same vocal intonations as the real Siri. You can tell it’s vocal lines recorded by Larkin. Each word Siri uses was recorded separately (or possibly in short phrases). The lines in this demo were recorded all at once, in a broken fashion meant to mimic Siri.

  4. says

    Here in the UK we have been having the same discussion.

    On my Mac Mini computer, I downloaded the British English male voice “Daniel” for my voice commands, and when I heard the adverts here in the UK for the iPhone 4S, and heard about “Siri’ – and heard it talking, I knew straightaway it was Apple’s “Daniel” voice, which I have on my OS X Lion.

    Finally, sleep prevailed! :) lol

  5. Hasan says

    I don’t know…but after watching Episode 14 of The Big Bang Theory ‘The Beta Test Initiation’ of Season 5…in the last scene where Rajesh Kuthrapali goes on to meet the love of his life “SIRI”…the girl who talks back to him is like 100% like the voice of SIRI :D…you guys should watch the ending of that episode coz im sold on it :)

  6. Lee says

    I read the other day who gave their voice for Siri, now I can’t remember what actress I was reading about…but it definitely said that she was the voice of Siri!

  7. Sean says

    There seems to be a little confusion over what Siri’s voices are and how they are created…

    When Jon Briggs (the voice of Siri in the UK) recorded his voice for Scansoft (now Nuance) five years ago, they asked him to record 5000 sentences in a *flat monotone*.

    Those 5000 sentences include every phoneme heard in the English language, as well as some additional ones that might not be part of ordinary English, but may be required for famous (foreign) names, loan words and common foreign language phrases, such as “Je ne sais quoi”.

    The same speech synthesis technique is used for all the Siri voices (and the new voices in OS X Lion too), but the files are pretty big. “Daniel”—the voice used for Siri in the UK—is a roughly 500MiB download. A big chunk of that is the voice data itself, which is why he voice isn’t *quite* as good in Siri as it could be: the only way to fix that synthetic effect would involve hiring voice artists to record those 5000 phrases repeatedly using different intonations and stresses.

    All the pitch and stress changes you hear are therefore added by the software during playback. This is why Siri still sounds a little synthetic, but rather less so than the older, entirely synthesised voices of old.

  8. James Horton says

    The voice of Siri, is the same voice on my Sync system in my Ford Focus. When I want to make a phone call from the car, the voice comes on asking for a command. Same voice in the I-phone ad with Scorcese.

  9. Visibly Shaken says

    You are all wrong. You were not there for the recordings and so you are speculating with celebrity guesses, all of which are incorrect. I know for a FACT that the voice of Siri is *Kathryn Nymoen*. She is a professional voice actor who lives in the Silicon Valley. She also sings (church), which helps in this highly technical line of work. By the way, the UK male voice talent is in breach of contract for revealing aspects of text-to-speech production and is lucky that Nuance/Scansoft is not suing him (…or maybe they are).

  10. amanda says

    there’s a voice actress named Lauren Martin who sounds eerily similar to Siri. imdb her and listen to her voice.

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