Johansson deplores ‘eerily similar’ ChatGPT voice

What happened

Scarlett Johansson said Monday she was “shocked” and “angered” when OpenAI debuted a new voice for ChatGPT that “sounded so eerily similar to mine that my closest friends” couldn’t “tell the difference.” She said she had twice turned down requests from OpenAI’s Sam Altman to license her voice for ChatGPT 4, and “OpenAI reluctantly agreed to take down the ‘Sky’ voice” after her lawyers got involved.

Who said what

Sky’s voice “was never intended to resemble” Johansson’s, Altman said in a statement late Monday. Open AI cast the Sky voice actor “before any outreach” to Johansson, but “out of respect” for her, “we have paused using Sky’s voice.”

After OpenAI’s May 13 demo, a lot of people said Sky’s “coquettish” voice “bore an uncanny resemblance to Johansson’s character in the 2013 movie ‘Her,’” an AI assistant, The Washington Post said. “You can’t unhear it,” said The New York Times. Also, “Altman has professed his love of ‘Her'” and “posted the word ‘her'” on X after the announcement.

What next?

Johansson said she looks forward to “appropriate legislation” to protect individuals from “deepfakes” and digital copies of “our own likeness” and work. So far “federal copyright law has not matured to protect a person’s voice from AI,” the Post said. 

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