Scarlett Johansson Accuses OpenAI CEO of Using Her Voice for AI Software

The recent dispute between actress Scarlett Johansson and OpenAI CEO Sam Altman has sparked controversy over the use of the actress’s voice for the company’s artificial intelligence voice software. Johansson claims that Altman used a voice similar to hers for its ChatGPT AI voice dubbed “Sky”, despite her declining his invitation for its use. The situation escalated after OpenAI announced the launch of the ChatGPT-4o AI voice, which bore a striking resemblance to Johansson’s voice in the movie “Her”.

Johansson revealed that Altman had approached her twice, in September and then again two days before the announcement of ChatGPT-4o in May. Despite declining the offer, Johansson expressed her shock and disbelief upon hearing the released demo of the AI voice, which she claims sounded eerily similar to her own voice. The actress highlighted the intentional nature of the similarity, as indicated by Altman’s cryptic tweet “her” on the day of the announcement.

In response to the situation, Scarlett Johansson has taken legal action by hiring legal counsel and writing two letters to Altman and OpenAI. She emphasized the importance of transparency in the process of creating the “Sky” voice, citing concerns about deepfakes and the protection of individual rights. Johansson called for clarity and appropriate legislation to safeguard against unauthorized use of one’s likeness and identity in AI technology.

OpenAI, backed by Microsoft, has defended its choice of voices for the ChatGPT AI, including the disputed “Sky” voice. The company stated that the voice in question belongs to a different professional actress using her own natural speaking voice, not an imitation of Scarlett Johansson. However, to protect the privacy of its voice talents, OpenAI refrained from disclosing their identities. The company reiterated that the resemblance to Johansson’s voice was unintentional.

The conflict between Scarlett Johansson and OpenAI raises concerns about the ethical use of voice technology and the boundaries of consent in the digital age. As AI continues to advance, the issue of unauthorized voice replication and potential misuse of personal data comes into focus. The outcome of this dispute may lead to greater scrutiny and regulation in the development and deployment of AI systems, emphasizing the need for transparency and accountability in the industry.

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