Scarlett Johansson surprises audiences with her voice as GPT’s ‘Sky’

bombshell, GPT’s 'Sky' voice, Scarlett Johansson

Actress Scarlett Johansson recently expressed her shock and anger upon hearing ChatGPT’s “Sky” voice, which many compared to her own. Johannson is well-known for her portrayal of a fictional digital assistant in the 2013 film Her. In a statement released on Monday, Johannson highlighted the similarities between her voice and the Sky voice, revealing that she had received an offer from OpenAI CEO Sam Altman to voice Sky but declined the opportunity.

Altman believed that Johannson’s voice could bridge the gap between technology companies and creatives, making consumers more comfortable with the use of AI. However, Johannson declined the offer, not anticipating that a similar voice would later be used in OpenAI’s ChatGPT. OpenAI responded to the comparisons by asserting that Sky’s voice was not an imitation of Scarlett Johansson’s, but rather the natural speaking voice of a different professional actress.

Despite this, OpenAI made the decision to suspend the use of Sky in ChatGPT until concerns about its origins were addressed. The company acknowledged the questions raised about the selection process for the voices in ChatGPT and expressed their commitment to resolving these issues. It is clear that OpenAI wants to ensure transparency and maintain public trust in their AI voice technology.

Scarlett Johansson’s statement highlighted her shock upon hearing the demo of Sky’s voice, as it closely resembled her own voice to the point where even her friends and news outlets couldn’t distinguish between the two. She expressed her disbelief that Sam Altman would pursue a voice that was so eerily similar and revealed that her agent had been contacted by Altman two days before the demo release, urging her to reconsider his offer. Johansson felt the need to seek legal counsel as a result.

Johansson emphasized the importance of protecting individual rights and the need for clarity regarding the creation and use of voices that resemble celebrities. In an era where deepfakes pose a threat to personal identity and work, Johansson believes that legislation and transparency are necessary for safeguarding individuals’ likeness and work.

In response to NBC News’ request for comment, Sam Altman clarified that Sky’s voice was not intended to resemble Johansson’s and that the voice actor behind Sky had been cast prior to any outreach to Johansson. He expressed regret for the lack of communication and stated that they have temporarily suspended the use of Sky’s voice out of respect for Johansson.

This incident raises important questions about the ethical considerations of using celebrity voices in AI technology. While the intention may be to enhance user experience or familiarity, it is essential to obtain explicit consent and ensure transparency to avoid controversy and potential legal issues. As AI technology continues to advance, finding the right balance between creative expression, intellectual property rights, and consumer comfort becomes crucial.

It is evident that OpenAI is taking this matter seriously, as they paused the use of Sky’s voice to address concerns and provide clarity about the creation process. This pause reflects OpenAI’s commitment to ethical practices and their willingness to listen to feedback from both the public and individuals affected by the technology.

Moving forward, the incident involving Scarlett Johansson and OpenAI’s Sky voice should serve as a reminder to companies developing AI technologies to prioritize transparency, obtain informed consent when using celebrity voices, and establish clear guidelines regarding the creation and use of AI-generated voices. Additionally, collaboration between tech companies, creatives, and lawmakers can help establish appropriate legislation to protect individual rights in the ever-evolving landscape of AI technology.

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