Ever wonder what Siri, Apple's voice-activated virtual assistant, looks like? Wonder no more! Meet Susan Bennett, the real woman behind Siri, who broke her silence in this CNN Red Chair interview with Jessica Ravitz and Jarrett Bellini:
For four hours a day, every day, in July 2005, Bennett holed up in her home recording booth. Hour after hour, she read nonsensical phrases and sentences so that the "ubergeeks" -- as she affectionately calls them; they leave her awestruck -- could work their magic by pulling out vowels, consonants, syllables and diphthongs, and playing with her pitch and speed.
These snippets were then synthesized in a process called concatenation that builds words, sentences, paragraphs. And that is how voices like hers find their way into GPS and telephone systems.
"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 ... So I just take breaks. That's one of the reasons why Siri might sometimes sound like she has a bit of an attitude," Bennett said with a laugh. "Those sounds might have been recorded the last 15 minutes of those four hours."
Apple, as expected, won't comment, but professionals who have worked with her vouched for her claim and an audio forensics expert who studied her voice is "100%" certain that she's Siri. Bennet said that she decided to come clean after The Verge posted an article that identified a different woman as the real voice behind Siri.
Read the rest of the article and view the video clip over at CNN.