OpenAI Denies Using Scarlett Johansson's Voice Despite Actress' Complaint
Cover Images/Ron Sachs/CNP

The 'Black Widow' star has expressed outrage after OpenAI, the company behind ChatGPT, released an AI voice assistant with a voice 'eerily similar' to hers, despite her declining an offer to voice the system last year.

AceShowbiz - Scarlett Johansson has raised concerns over OpenAI's use of a voice "eerily similar" to hers for its new ChatGPT 4.0 chatbot. Johansson stated that she was "shocked, angered and in disbelief" when she heard the voice, which she declined to provide for the project nine months prior.

OpenAI CEO Sam Altman had initially approached Johansson, suggesting her voice would be comforting for users transitioning to AI technology. However, Johansson declined, citing personal reasons.

Two days before the ChatGPT 4.0 demo, Altman reached out again, urging Johansson to reconsider. However, before they could connect, OpenAI unveiled the voice assistant with the voice allegedly resembling hers.

Johansson claims that Altman insinuated the similarity was deliberate by tweeting the word "Her", referencing the 2013 film where she voiced a chat system. Altman, however, denies the connection, stating that the voice was cast before contacting Johansson and belongs to a different actress.

Altman tells TMZ, "The voice of Sky is not Scarlett Johansson's, and it was never intended to resemble hers. We cast the voice actor behind Sky's voice before any outreach to Ms. Johansson. Out of respect for Ms. Johansson, we have paused using Sky's voice in our products. We are sorry to Ms. Johansson that we didn't communicate better."

Convinced of the unauthorized use of her likeness, Johansson hired legal counsel and sent letters to OpenAI, asking them to explain how the "Sky" voice was created. OpenAI subsequently "reluctantly agreed" to remove the voice from its platform.

Johansson emphasized the importance of clarifying the ethical implications of AI's use of creative works, highlighting the need for transparency and appropriate legislation to protect individual rights in an era rife with deepfakes and identity fraud.

OpenAI paused the "Sky" voice while addressing questions about its voice selection process. The company maintains that the voice was that of another actress, whose identity it protects for privacy reasons.

The incident has drawn attention to the legal and ethical gray areas surrounding the use of voices in AI technology, as well as the potential risks and benefits of increasingly sophisticated AI systems.

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