Siri, the strangely calming ‘intelligent personal assistant’ by Apple, has a pretty distinctive voice. The program slowly conditions itself to your personal choices based on your individual searches and language, and can answer questions, perform actions and delegate requests, which is all pretty neat. Most people use it to just play around though, usually indulging in mindless explicit banter and never really attributing a face to the voice.

A few years ago, the voice behind the American Siri was found to be that of 65-year-old New Yorker Susan Bennett.

Siri was first introduced in the Iphone 4S in 2011, but it’s interesting to note that Susan initially had no idea that it was her voice being used in the program. The way it went is, a software company called ScanSoft was looking for someone to be the voice for a database project involving speech construction in 2005. They reached out to GM Voices, and when the scheduled voice-over artist was absent, they decided to go with Susan.

After being picked for this as-yet untitled project, Susan spent the entire month of July 2005 recording phrases and sentences which were then concatenated, or joined by character, into the various words, sentences, and paragraphs used in the Siri voice. Susan only became aware that she was the voice of Siri when a friend told her about it in October 2011.

Even though Apple never acknowledged that Susan Bennett was the voice of Siri, public interest was piqued to such an extent that CNN hired audio-forensics experts who confirmed that it was Susan one hundred percent.

Susan was born in 1949 in New York. She has done voice-recording work for a number of leading brands and TV ads including Ford, Coca-Cola, McDonalds and Cartoon Network. You can find out more about her and maybe even get her to lend a voice to your pet project from her website !