OpenAI removes voice that sounded like actress Scarlett Johansson from ChatGPT a week after launch

Malay Mail
Malay Mail

KUALA LUMPUR, May 21 — OpenAI has suspended the voice that sounded like Scarlett Johansson on its voice-enabled chatbot following complaints from the American actress.

The news came a week after the company launched the voice, called Sky, that was part of OpenAI’s GPT-4o, Variety reported.

When it was launched, many had noticed that the voice sounded very much like Johansson‘s disembodied AI companion in Spike Jonze’s 2013 movie Her.

In a statement, the company said they believed AI voices should not deliberately mimic a celebrity’s distinctive voice claiming that Sky’s voice was not an imitation of Johansson but belongs to a different professional actress using her own natural speaking voice.

“To protect their privacy, we cannot share the names of our voice talents,” the company added.

It however adds that they have heard questions about how the voices in ChatGPT were chosen, especially Sky.

“We are working to pause the use of Sky while we address them,” it added.

In a separate statement to the portal, Johansson said OpenAI CEO Sam Altman had reached out to ask her to lend her voice to ChatGPT nine months ago, but she declined due to personal reasons.

The Black Widow star said when she heard the demo, she was shocked, angered and in disbelief that Altman would pursue a voice that sounded so eerily similar to her.

Her lawyers then contacted OpenAI to have the voice of Sky removed.