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iPhone Siri voice identity revealed to be Susan Bennett

Siri, the virtual assistant, is displayed on the

Siri, the virtual assistant, is displayed on the Apple iPhone 4S in San Francisco. (Oct. 10, 2011) Photo Credit: AP

Few things remain private for long in the age of smartphones and Google, but perhaps Apple was on to something in refusing to put a face to the voice iPhone users have come to know and love. When it comes to Siri, maybe ignorance truly is bliss.

But CNN stumbled upon the true identity of Siri. (Stop reading here if you'd prefer to keep on imagining the voice as one emanating from a futuristic robot.) Siri is Susan Bennett, an otherwise unremarkable, baby-boom-aged woman (she did not give her exact age) who lives in suburban Atlanta and has made a career as a voice-over artist specializing in "interactive voice response" work. Her first big break came about 40 years ago when she served as the radio and TV voice of First National Bank's "Tillie the All-Time Teller," the first ATM machine.

Despite her lengthy career, Bennett has managed to toil in relative obscurity until now. CNN connected her to the voice of Siri while interviewing her for a separate piece about voiceover artists. When a report incorrectly pegged Allison Dufty as the voice behind Siri last month, Bennett decided to go on the record with her story.

The best part of the story is her son's reaction to the ubiquity of his mother's voice.

"Her voice has been everywhere throughout my life," Cameron Bennett told CNN. "I'd call my bank while I was in college in Colorado, and it was my mom telling me I had $4."

Though CNN offers a ton of evidence that Bennett is, in fact, the voice behind Siri, Apple won't confirm the report. The traditionally secretive company apparently still believes some things are better left unknown -- so don't expect an answer when you pick up your phone to ask Siri for her true identity.


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