OpenAI uses Scarlett Johansson’s voice unlawfully? Actor asks tech giant to pull down Sky

Scarlett Johansson said she had rejected the offer by OpenAI. Photo | Instagram, X

Los Angeles: Hollywood actor Scarlett Johansson has called out tech giant OpenAI for using her voice without her permission. In a recent statement, the actor said she was approached by Open AI CEO Sam Altman in September 2023 to voice their ChatGPT 4.0 system. However, Scarlett rejected the offer for personal reasons and said she was ‘shocked’ and ‘angered’ that the company went ahead and used her voice.
The actor argued that the Sky voice introduced by OpenAI in the GPT-4o chatbot, sounded very much like her AI companion in Spike Jonze’s 2013 movie 'Her'. The actor said that her lawyers contacted OpenAI to have the voice of Sky, pulled down, reports

“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,” she said. “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.”
Scarlett called for legislation that would protect individuals from having their name, image or likeness misappropriated. The company, meanwhile, shared that it would ‘pause’ the use of the Sky voice. “We believe that AI voices should not deliberately mimic a celebrity’s distinctive voice — Sky’s voice is not an imitation of Scarlett Johansson but belongs to a different professional actress using her own natural speaking voice,” a statement from OpenAI read.
Another statement from Altman read: “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. 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.”
(With IANS inputs)

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