Farewell to ChatGPT’s Synthetic Scarlett Johansson Voice [2023 – 2024]

2023, 2024, ChatGPT, knockoff, RIP, Scarlett Johansson, voice

Title: OpenAI Addresses Concerns Over ChatGPT’s Celebrity-Like Voice Mode


When OpenAI unveiled the more-human-like voice mode of GPT-4o, a similarity between one of ChatGPT’s voices and Scarlett Johansson’s character in the movie “Her” was observed, igniting discussions about whether the AI was deliberately mimicking the celebrity’s distinctive voice. OpenAI swiftly clarified that the resemblance to Johansson’s voice was unintentional and that they were taking steps to address the questions raised. In this article, we will explore the controversy surrounding the voice mode, discuss the significance of AI voices, and analyze OpenAI’s response to protect the privacy and rights of voice actors.

The Rise of Conversational AI

Johansson’s portrayal of a virtual voice assistant in the movie “Her” left a lasting impact on the depiction of conversational AI in popular culture. Released over a decade ago, “Her” anticipated the conversational AI craze that followed, with many current voice assistants resembling Johansson’s breezy and warm chatbot character. The film served as a fitting template for the development of voice-based AI technologies.

Legal Issues Surrounding AI-Generated Voices

Johansson’s involvement in a legal case against a developer who allegedly utilized an AI-generated version of her voice and likeness in an advertisement raises pertinent questions about the ethical and legal implications of using celebrity voices in AI technologies. Celebrities possess a unique intonation and presence that can create a significant market advantage if incorporated into AI. Consequently, safeguarding the privacy and rights of voice actors has become a crucial concern for AI developers like OpenAI.

OpenAI’s Approach to Protecting Voice Talents

To address concerns about the seemingly celebrity-like voice mode, OpenAI released a blog post explaining their voice selection process for ChatGPT. OpenAI maintains that AI voices should not intentionally mimic a celebrity’s voice, emphasizing that Sky’s voice, which exhibited similarities to Johansson’s voice, belonged to a different professional actress. The company acknowledges the importance of protecting the privacy of the voice actors, stating that it cannot disclose their names. OpenAI also ensures that voice talents are paid above top-of-market rates, signifying their commitment to fair compensation.

Implications of OpenAI’s Response

OpenAI’s decision to temporarily pause the use of Sky while addressing the questions surrounding the voice demonstrates the company’s responsiveness to public concerns. By taking swift action, OpenAI aims to avoid any potential legal or ethical challenges associated with the unintended resemblance. The company’s commitment to paying voice actors above market rates reaffirms its dedication to fair remuneration and respect for their privacy.

The Importance of Unique AI Voices

The controversy surrounding the unintentional resemblance between Sky’s voice and Johansson’s voice provides an opportunity to reflect on the significance of unique AI voices. As AI agents become more prevalent in our lives, distinct and original voices can enhance user experience and build trust. By celebrating the individuality of AI voices, we can foster a more human-like interaction with AI systems, improving their overall functionality and acceptance among users.

Beyond Celebrity Voices: Ethical Considerations

While celebrity voices may initially attract attention and generate interest, relying solely on such voices in AI technologies raises ethical considerations. It is vital to strike a balance between familiar and novel AI voices to prevent excessive reliance on celebrity endorsements. Diversifying AI voices encourages creative interpretations and prevents the potential misuse of celebrity identities in AI-generated content, protecting both celebrities and voice actors alike.

A Call for Transparency and Accountability

OpenAI’s commitment to protecting the privacy of voice actors demonstrates a responsible approach to AI development. However, as voice-based AI assistants become more sophisticated, it is crucial for developers to be transparent about the origin of AI voices and disclose any potential associations with celebrities. Ensuring accountability and preventing unauthorized use of celebrity voices will help maintain the integrity of AI technologies.


OpenAI’s response to the concerns raised about ChatGPT’s voice mode highlights the company’s commitment to protecting the privacy and rights of voice actors. By temporarily removing Sky’s voice and pledging fair compensation to their voice talents, OpenAI demonstrates its proactive stance on ethical AI practices. The controversy surrounding the unintentional similarity to Scarlett Johansson’s voice prompts us to reflect on the importance of distinct AI voices, promoting diversity, transparency, and accountability within the AI industry. As AI technology continues to evolve, it is essential for developers to navigate these ethical challenges responsibly, ensuring a future where AI voices enhance user experiences while respecting the rights of individuals.

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