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Scarlett Johansson attending the 'Asteroid City' New York premiere in a white dress at Alice Tully Hall on June 13, 2023

SCIENCE & TECH: Scarlett Johansson ‘shocked’ and ‘angered’ over ChatGPT voice that sounds ‘eerily similar’ to hers

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Scarlett Johansson was “shocked” and “angered” after the new ChatGPT feature from OpenAI sounded “eerily similar” to her as the actress revealed she rejected an offer from the tech company to use her voice. 

The Marvel star blasted the tech company and its CEO, Sam Altman, who she said approached her nine months ago about hiring her to voice the new AI voice assistant, according to a statement sent to Page Six.


Scarlett Johansson was “shocked” and “angered” over new ChatGPT voice that sounds eerily similar to hers. Getty Images

“He told me that he felt that by my voicing the system, I could bridge the gap between tech companies and creatives and help consumers to feel comfortable with the seismic shift concerning humans and AI,” she said.

She ultimately rejected the offer “after much consideration and for personal reasons.”

Altman reached out to Johansson’s agent two days before the voice assistant demo was released in a bid to see if she would change her mind, she said. But before the two could connect, the voice “Sky” was released.

“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 in the statement.

Johansson said Altman insinuated the similar voice was on purpose when he tweeted the word “her,” which she said was a reference to the 2013 film by the same name where the actress voiced a chat system who forms a relationship with a human. 

OpenAI said on Sunday it paused the use of the “Sky” voice amid questions about how it chose to use that voice. The company claimed it used the voice of another actress, but did not reveal her name to protect her privacy.


Sam Altman, CEO of OpenAI, at World Economic Forum in Davos, standing in front of a microphone
Johansson and her legal team are trying to find out who the voice was based on. AFP via Getty Images

“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,” the company said in a blog post. “To protect their privacy, we cannot share the names of our voice talents.”

But Johansson said in Monday’s statement OpenAI “reluctantly agreed” to take down the voice after her legal counsel wrote two letters to Altman asking the company to explain the “exact process” used to create the voice.   

“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,” she stated.

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

“Sky” is one of five voices used by OpenAI and each voice is picked after an extensive process, the company said.



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