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Scarlett Johansson ‘Angered’ By ChatGPT Voice That Sounded ‘Eerily’ Like Her

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Scarlett Johansson said Monday that she was “shocked, angered and in disbelief” when she heard that OpenAI used a voice “eerily similar” to hers for its new ChatGPT 4.0 chatbot, even after she had declined to provide her voice.

Earlier on Monday, OpenAI announced on X that it would pause the AI voice, known as “Sky,” while it addresses “questions about how we chose the voices in ChatGPT.” The company said in a blog post that the “Sky” voice was “not an imitation” of Johansson’s voice, but that it was recorded by a different professional actor, whose identity the company would not reveal to protect her privacy.

But Johansson said in a statement to NPR on Monday that OpenAI’s Chief Executive Officer Sam Altman had asked her in September to voice the ChatGPT 4.0 system because he thought her “voice would be comforting to people.” She declined, but nine months later, her friends, family and the public noticed how the “Sky” voice resembled hers.

“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,” the actress said in her statement. “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.”

Johansson said that she was “forced to hire legal counsel” because of the situation, and that her counsel wrote two letters to Altman and OpenAI asking them to explain the process for creating the “Sky” voice. After, OpenAI “reluctantly agreed” to pull the voice from the platform, she said.

“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,” Johansson said in her statement. “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 first revealed voice functions for ChatGPT in September. In November, the company announced that the feature would be free for all users on the mobile app. Chat GPT 4.0 isn’t publicly available yet—it will be rolled out in the coming weeks and months, according to Associated Press.

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