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Julie Seitter (née Julie Stinneford) is a professional voice talent who can be heard as "Julie", the interactive voice response agent for Amtrak's automated information and registration telephone system. Julie's positive voice personality—described as "spunky", "tirelessly chipper", "perky", "unshakably courteous", and "reassuring"—has been cited as one of the reasons for the success of the Amtrak system.[1] Upon the automated system's confirmation of a caller's spoken instruction, Seitter's recorded voice would cheerily intone, "Great!" or "Got it!", while a speech recognition failure might prompt the message, "I'm sorry, I'm having trouble understanding you..."

On Valentine's Day in 2002, Seitter's voice was featured, in character, in a humorous National Public Radio story,[2] and Seitter's Amtrak persona was parodied in a recurring Saturday Night Live sketch in 2005–2006, with Rachel Dratch as "Julie".[3][4] Seitter made a one-time appearance on Jeopardy! as a contestant on February 28, 2006.[5] 45 years old as of 2008, Seitter resides in Littleton, Massachusetts with her husband and two sons.

Amtrak agent

The speech recognition-based Amtrak system using recordings of Julie's voice as an automated reservation agent premiered in April 2001, and soon garnered a caller approval rating of over 90% while saving the railway system an estimated more than $13 million.[1] Seitter recorded herself for the "Julie" system (which the rail network named for her) working out of a basement studio in her Massachusetts home.[1]

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Urbina, Ian (2004-11-24). "Your Train Will Be Late, She Says Cheerily". The New York Times. Retrieved 2007-05-06. 
  2. Grant, Neva (2002-02-14). "The Complexities of Modern Love in the Digital Age". National Public Radio. Retrieved 2009-02-02. 
  3. "Julie the Operator Lady". Hulu.com. 
  4. ""Operator Date" transcript". snltranscripts.com. 2005-10-08. Retrieved 2009-02-02. 
  5. "J! Archive of Jeopardy! Show #4947 - Tuesday, February 28, 2006". 2006-02-28. Retrieved 2009-02-02. 

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