Science & Tech

Scarlett Johansson scorches ChatGPT for 'stealing' her voice

Scarlett Johansson scorches ChatGPT for 'stealing' her voice
OpenAI Removes ChatGPT’s Scarlett Johansson-Like Voice Option
Wibbitz - Technology / VideoElephant

Actress Scarlett Johansson claims OpenAI has ripped off her voice to use on ChatGPT after she allegedly turned down an invitation.

With artificial intelligence capabilities seemingly growing by the day, people, particularly those with a public profile are becoming increasingly susceptible to deepfakes, where technology is used to recreate a person’s likeness in a fake scenario.

Johansson is the latest celebrity to take issue with her voice allegedly being mimicked. It came after OpenAI revealed a new conversational interface for ChatGPT, named “Sky”, last week.

The interface reportedly sounded remarkably similar to Johansson’s voice in the sci-fi movie Her, however it was abruptly removed during the course of the weekend.

According to a statement made by Johansson on Monday, her lawyers are the reason the voice was taken down after they quizzed OpenAI about how the voice was made.

In the statement, the actress claimed that in September 2023 she was offered the opportunity to voice ChatGPT by Sam Altman (OpenAI CEO) but that she ultimately declined.

Johansson then explained she was outraged to have heard the voice of Sky, claiming that even those closest to her believed the voice to be hers.

She wrote: “When I heard the release 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.”

On 13 May, Altman had posted a tweet which simply read, “her”, sparking suggestions the film and Johansson’s character in it were the source of inspiration.

Johansson alleges her agent was contacted by Altman two days prior to Sky being released last week to ask the actress to reconsider her decision to decline working with OpenAI.

In a post on its website, OpenAI claimed: “We believe that AI voices should not deliberately mimic a celebrity's distinctive voice—Sky’s voice is not an imitation of Scarlett Johansson but belongs to a different professional actress using her own natural speaking voice.”

The company has suspended the use of Sky “out of respect” for Johansson and said it was sorry “that we didn’t communicate better”.

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