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Scarlett Johansson Upset Over AI Voice That Sounds Just Like Her


Hollywood actor Scarlett Johansson said that she was “shocked, angered and in disbelief” after Sam Altman’s OpenAI launched a chatbot with an “eerily similar” voice to hers, as per a report in BBC. The actress said that she had previously declined the company’s request for her voice to be used in their new ChatGPT 4.0 chatbot, which reads the material to users aloud.


Ever since the AI chatbot Sky made its debut last week, a lot of people have been quick to compare the chatbot’s tone to that of Scarlett Johansson in the 2013 film “Her.”

The AI voice will be put on hold while OpenAI addresses “questions about how we chose the voices in ChatGPT,” the company announced on X (formerly Twitter). In a blog post, the company stated that the voice of Sky was “not an imitation” of Ms. Johansson. They added that, in order to respect her privacy, they would not reveal the identity of the other professional actor who recorded it.

However, the ‘Marriage Story’ actor accused OpenAI and CEO Sam Altman of copying her voice. She said in a statement, “Last September, I received an offer from Sam Altman, who wanted to hire me to voice the current ChatGPT 4.0 system. He told me that he felt that by my voicing the system, I could bridge the gap between tech companies and creatives and help consumers to feel comfortable with the seismic shift concerning humans and Al. He said he felt that my voice would be comforting to people.”

Ms Johansson added that she declined the offer but was taken aback when she heard the demo. “When I heard the released demo, I was shocked, angered and in disbelief that Mr. Altman would pursue a voice that sounded so eerily similar to mine that my closest friends and news outlets could not tell the difference. Mr Altman even insinuated that the similarity was intentional, tweeting a single word “her” – a reference to the film in which I voiced a chat system, Samantha, who forms an intimate relationship with a human.”

Ms Johansson stated that the circumstances “forced her to hire legal counsel,” and as a result, her attorney sent two letters to Mr Altman and OpenAI requesting an explanation of the chatbot’s voice’s creation process. She added that OpenAI then “reluctantly agreed” to remove the voice from the platform.

“In a time when we are all grappling with deepfakes and the protection of our own likeness, our own work, our own identities, I believe these are questions that deserve absolute clarity. I look forward to resolution in the form of transparency and the passage of appropriate legislation to help ensure that individual rights are protected,” she said in her statement.

Meanwhile, Sam Altman said in a statement emailed to Reuters that Sky’s voice was not an imitation of Johansson, but belonged to a different professional actress. He said, “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.”

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