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OpenAI pulls ChatGPT voice similar to actress Scarlett Johansson’s

Scarlett Johansson at an award ceremony Invision via Associated Press/Photo by Jordan Strauss

OpenAI pulls ChatGPT voice similar to actress Scarlett Johansson’s

The company paused the use of the artificial intelligence voice “Sky” after public backlash over how similar the voice sounds to actress Scarlett Johansson. The company pulled the voice from Chat GPT 4.0 after receiving questions about how the voice was chosen, according to a company tweet.

OpenAI CEO Sam Altman asked Johansson to voice a ChatGPT system last year, according to a statement from the actress released on Monday by the New York Times. She declined the offer and said she is now shocked at how eerily similar Sky sounds to herself. Altman tweeted the word “her” around the same time the 4.0 system launched, which many viewed as a reference to Johansson’s movie of the same title where she voices a computer operating system. OpenAI reluctantly took down the voice after being contacted by Johansson’s legal team, according to her statement. Johansson called for more transparency on AI generation and legislation to protect individuals’ rights and likenesses.

Hollywood union SAG-AFTRA backed Johansson’s call for transparency and legislation to govern the AI industry. Protecting actor identities from AI recreation was a key issue during contract negotiations between actors and studios last fall. Actors launched a nearly five-month strike before reaching an agreement with studios.

How has the company responded? The company released a blog post explaining how the ChatGPT voices were created and distinctly denied that Sky is meant to imitate Johansson. AI voices should not deliberately mimic a celebrity’s distinctive voice, the post said. A professional actress used her natural speaking voice to record Sky, the company added.

Dig deeper: Read Collin Garbarino’s report in WORLD Magazine on SAG-AFTRA’s concerns over AI.

Christina Grube

Christina Grube is a graduate of the World Journalism Institute.

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