Siri, that personal assistant in each and every iPhone (4S and above), is actually a real person, not some computer generated piece of code. The team at CNN did some digging out, and they discovered that the real Siri isn’t Allison Dufty, as The Verge reported last month, it’s actually a woman from the Atlanta area known as Susan Bennett. She did some voice work in 2005 for a company called GM Voices. GM Voices then worked with ScanSoft, who added Susan’s voice in their database, a database that Apple then used to generate Siri.
Why is this important? It’s not, but it’s a neat little story for those interested in the behind the scenes stories of tech companies. Susan doesn’t actually have an iPhone, but her friends do, and once the iPhone 4S came out, they all started asking her if she was the voice. She didn’t even want to be known, but then the internet got all crazy over that one report on The Verge, and that’s what caused her to go public.
Will the real Siri please stand up? Truth be told, and this is going to sound cliché, there will be radical advances in voice synthesis technology during the next few years that will make it so that Siri, and other apps like her, can speak whatever language you want in whatever dialect you want, and by then it really will all be a bunch of code.