Home Editor's Pick OpenAI Pauses ChatGPT Voice Amid Scarlett Johansson Controversy

OpenAI Pauses ChatGPT Voice Amid Scarlett Johansson Controversy

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OpenAI, the company behind the popular AI chatbot ChatGPT, has found itself in hot water with actress Scarlett Johansson over the similarity between her voice and that of the AI’s new voice assistant, “Sky.”

The controversy began last week when OpenAI unveiled the latest version of ChatGPT, which featured a voice that many observers found uncannily similar to Johansson’s performance as an AI assistant in the 2013 film “Her.”

TLDR

OpenAI’s ChatGPT voice “Sky” sounds very similar to Scarlett Johansson’s voice in the movie “Her”
Johansson declined an offer from OpenAI CEO Sam Altman to voice ChatGPT 4.0 last September
Johansson is “shocked, angered, and in disbelief” that OpenAI pursued a voice so similar to hers without her consent
OpenAI has paused using the “Sky” voice out of respect for Johansson and denies deliberately imitating her
This is not the first time Johansson’s voice has been used without permission by an AI company

In response, Johansson’s legal team sent two letters to OpenAI, demanding an explanation of how the company developed the “Sky” voice.

The actress revealed that OpenAI CEO Sam Altman had approached her last September with an offer to voice ChatGPT 4.0, which she declined for personal reasons. Johansson expressed her shock and anger upon hearing the “Sky” voice demo, stating that even her closest friends and news outlets could not distinguish it from her own voice.

OpenAI CEO Sam Altman, who has previously stated that “Her” is his favorite movie, posted a cryptic tweet with the word “her” shortly after the new ChatGPT version was announced.

her

— Sam Altman (@sama) May 13, 2024

This led to speculation that the similarity between Johansson’s voice and “Sky” was intentional. However, Altman and OpenAI have denied these claims, stating that the voice actor behind “Sky” was cast before any outreach to Johansson and that the resemblance was unintentional.

In response to the controversy, OpenAI has paused the use of the “Sky” voice in its products out of respect for Johansson. The company issued an apology to the actress for not communicating better throughout the process.

This highlights the growing concerns surrounding the use of AI-generated content and the potential infringement on individuals’ rights to control their own likeness and voice.

Johansson herself emphasized the need for transparency and appropriate legislation to protect these rights, especially in an era where deepfakes and AI-generated content are becoming increasingly common.

This is not the first time Johansson has faced issues with AI companies using her likeness without permission.

In November, she took legal action against an AI image-generating app called Lisa AI: 90s Yearbook & Avatar for using her voice and likeness in an advertisement without her consent.

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