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Scarlett Johansson ‘angered’ as OpenAI uses voice similar to hers in ChatGPT: “We are all grappling with deepfakes…”

en Bollywood News Scarlett Johansson ‘angered’ as OpenAI uses voice similar to hers in ChatGPT: “We are all grappling with deepfakes…”

Johansson's lawyers promptly contacted OpenAI demanding the removal of the Sky voice.

Hollywood actor Scarlett Johansson has accused OpenAI, a research company focused on artificial intelligence, of using a voice in their conversational ChatGPT system that deliberately mimicked hers, despite her rejecting their request to be the official voice. Johansson expressed shock and anger at the situation. In a statement, she detailed how OpenAI CEO Sam Altman had initially approached her in September 2023 to provide the voice for ChatGPT 4.0, which she declined for personal reasons.

Scarlett Johansson ‘angered’ as OpenAI uses voice similar to hers in ChatGPT We are all grappling with deepfakes...

Scarlett Johansson ‘angered’ as OpenAI uses voice similar to hers in ChatGPT: “We are all grappling with deepfakes…”

The controversy arose when OpenAI introduced a new voice called “Sky” during a demo of GPT-4o. Many, including Johansson's close friends and news outlets, noted the uncanny resemblance between Sky's voice and Johansson's. This was further fueled by Altman's tweet of the single word "her," a reference to the movie where Johansson played Samantha, the AI companion.

According to Variety, Johansson's lawyers promptly contacted OpenAI demanding the removal of the Sky voice. While OpenAI initially claimed the voice wasn't hers and belonged to a different actress, they ultimately agreed to "pause" its use "out of respect for Ms. Johansson."

The actress called for clearer legislation to protect individuals from having their likeness misappropriated in the age of deepfakes and AI voice technology. “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 questions deserve absolute clarity,” Johansson stated. “I look forward to resolution in the form of transparency and the passage of appropriate legislation to help ensure that individual rights are protected.”

OpenAI, on the other hand, maintains that the Sky voice was never intended to resemble Johansson's. In their statement, they claimed to have cast the voice actor before ever reaching out to Johansson. They apologized for not communicating better and acknowledged pausing the use of the Sky voice.

Adding fuel to the fire was a joke on Saturday Night Live aimed at Johansson's husband, Colin Jost. The joke referenced the similarity between Sky's voice and Johansson's, poking fun at Jost for not watching Her.

FULL STATEMENT OF SCARLETT JOHANSSON:

“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.

After much consideration and for personal reasons, I declined the offer. Nine months later, my friends, family and the general public all noted how much the newest system named ‘Sky’ sounded like me.

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.

Two days before the ChatGPT 4.0 demo was released, Mr. Altman contacted my agent, asking me to reconsider. Before we could connect, the system was out there.

As a result of their actions, I was forced to hire legal counsel, who wrote two letters to Mr. Altman and OpenAl, setting out what they had done and asking them to detail the exact process by which they created the ‘Sky’ voice. Consequently, OpenAl reluctantly agreed to take down the ‘Sky’ voice.

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.”

ALSO READ: Fly Me to the Moon Trailer: Sparks fly as Scarlett Johansson and Channing Tatum lead a rom-com where an astronaut meets ad executive, watch


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