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Did ChatGPT steal Scarlett Johansson's voice?

Did ChatGPT steal Scarlett Johansson's voice?

Scarlett Johansson
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Creatives' concerns over AI are becoming more tangible.

rachelkiley

Scarlett Johansson may have once been the voice of artificial intelligence, but now she's poised to become the face of creatives' fight against it.

Last week, OpenAI drew attention to the five voices it introduced for ChatGPT's Voice Mode during a presentation about its new AI model. People immediately noticed something odd about one of the voices, "Sky" — it sounded disconcertingly similar to Johansson.It certainly didn't help that CEO Sam Altman has previously stated that his favorite movie is Her, in which Johannson famously voiced an AI virtual assistant with whom the lead character falls in love. And just a week ago, he tweeted a single word:

Despite posting a blog insisting Sky's voice was not modeled off that of the Black Widow star but was instead devised from "a different professional actress using her own natural speaking voice" (and who the company did not name), by Monday, OpenAI had suspended use of the voice.

Then, Johansson released a statement saying she had been contacted by Altman last September with a request to use her voice for the new ChatGPT 4.0 system — which she declined.

"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," she wrote.

When asked by her legal counsel to "detail the exact process by which they created the 'Sky' voice," the actress said they "reluctantly" took it down.

You can still check out a comparison between Johansson's voice and "Sky" here:

Concerns about the possible implications of AI have been of serious concern among creatives over the past two years, and actors, in particular, have been worried about their likenesses being replicated by these programs. And having someone with the star power Johansson has calling out this concern in a tangible way is giving people hope that maybe — maybe — something might actually be done about it.

"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. "I look forward to resolution in the form of transparency and the passage of appropriate legislation to help ensure that individual rights are protected."

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Rachel Kiley

Rachel Kiley is presumably a writer and definitely not a terminator. She can usually be found crying over queerbaiting in the Pitch Perfect franchise or on Twitter, if not both.

Rachel Kiley is presumably a writer and definitely not a terminator. She can usually be found crying over queerbaiting in the Pitch Perfect franchise or on Twitter, if not both.