‘Eerily similar’: Scarlett Johansson accuses OpenAI of using her voice for ChatGPT’s Sky

Actors Joaquin Phoenix and Scarlett Johansson attend 'Her' Premiere

Scarlett Johansson is accusing OpenAI of using her voice for the AI platform’s chatbot.

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Johansson said she had declined to lend her voice to the Sky system but that OpenAI’s ChatGPT’s voice sounded “eerily similar” to her own voice, Reuters reported.

The actress, who voiced an AI chatbot in the film “Her,” released the statement hours after OpenAI announced it was taking down the voice of “Sky.” The company did not say why, NBC News reported.

The company said it was not Johansson’s voice that powered Sky but the voice of another, unnamed actress.

“The voice of Sky is not Scarlett Johansson’s, and it was never intended to resemble hers. We cast the voice actor behind Sky’s voice before any outreach to Ms. Johansson,” CEO Sam Altman said in a statement. “Out of respect for Ms. Johansson, we have paused using Sky’s voice in our products. We are sorry to Ms. Johansson that we didn’t communicate better.”

However, Johansson said Altman reached out to her in September to voice a ChatGPT system, but she turned it down. She also said she was contacted a second, more recent time, and once again declined, The New York Times reported.

“Nine months later, my friends, family and the general public all noted how much the newest system named ‘Sky’ sounded like me,” the “Black Widow” actress said. “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.”

Read Johansson’s entire statement on The New York Times.

Johansson has hired a lawyer to investigate how the voice was created.

OpenAI unveiled GPT-4o, its the newest model, which lets users talk to the system and get real-time responses in a more realistic way than previously available, Reuters reported.

According to OpenAI, “It can respond to audio inputs in as little as 232 milliseconds, with an average of 320 milliseconds, which is similar to human response time in a conversation.”

Here is the live demo OpenAI did:

And here is the trailer from “Her,” starring Johansson and Joaquin Phoenix:

Sky is one of five voices created for the virtual assistant which include Breeze, Cove, Ember and Juniper, the Times reported. They were all recorded last summer in San Francisco.

OpenAI has faced several copyright violation lawsuits filed by actors, authors and newspapers.

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