Artificial intelligences like Apple’s Siri have become so ubiquitous in many people’s lives that it’s no wonder the story of Persona 5 Strikers (available today on Playstation 4, Switch and PC) has its own artificial intelligence assistant in the form of EMMA. But what you might not immediately notice is that EMMA is played by the woman who voiced the original Siri.
Susan Bennett is a professional voice actress best known for lending her talents to Apple’s Siri assistant from its inception in 2011 to the iOS 7 update in 2013. Bennett’s voice was recorded in 2005 by a company called ScanSoft, a secret project that she didn’t do. I realized it was for Apple until Siri launched years later. Apple still doesn’t officially confirm that Bennett is Siri, but a CNN investigation In 2013 she concluded, with 100% certainty from forensic audio experts, that she is the voice of the personal assistant.
Fast forward to today and the release of Persona 5 Strikers outside of Japan. In the game, EMMA fulfills many of the same functions as Siri in the real world. Find nearby stores, map out travel routes, create schedules, and can even suggest things like what to take on a camping trip. Teen protagonists quickly realize how useful it is and download it to all their phones. You can find a sample of EMMA’s voice below (skip to 9:44 if the timestamp doesn’t work).
In the spirit of avoiding spoilers for a game that released today, I’ll just say that EMMA is still an integral part of the story from then on, but Bennett’s work is easy to miss if, like me, you’re playing with voices. Japanese. This connection first came to my attention by Twitter user resolutionroute, who described the hiring of Bennett by the localization team as “the most flexibility” in their original tweet, Y Kotaku has since confirmed this is the case.
Since recording for Siri at the aughts, Bennett has provided his voice to a variety of projects, with clients ranging from Coca Cola and McDonald’s to Ford and Goodyear. Persona 5 Strikers It might be her first big job in the gaming industry, but she totally nails the whole “soulless AI that might actually have bad intentions” thing, I think the game goes with EMMA. I am guessing its time like siri prepared her for that.