Scarlett Johansson says OpenAI stole her voice for ChatGPT

Last week OpenAI Revealing the new conversation interface for ChatGPT with one Synthetic, expressive voice extremely similar to the AI ​​assistant played by Scarlett Johansson in the sci-fi movie She—just to suddenly disabled New voice over the weekend.

On Monday, Johansson released a statement claiming to have been forced to reverse that, after her lawyer asked OpenAI to clarify how the new voice was created.

by Johansson declare, forwarded to WIRED by her publicist, claims that OpenAI CEO Sam Altman asked her to provide a new voice for ChatGPT last September but she declined. She described being surprised to see the company introduce a new voice to ChatGPT last week, which after all sounded like her.

“When I heard the release demo, I was shocked, angry, and in disbelief that Mr. Altman would pursue a voice so uncannily similar to mine that my closest friends and agents The press cannot tell the difference.” It noted that Altman seemed to encourage the world to connect the demo to Johansson’s performance by tweeting “she,” regarding the film, on May 13.

Johansson’s statement said Altman contacted her representative two days before last week’s demo to ask her to reconsider her decision not to work with OpenAI. After seeing the demo, she said she hired legal counsel to write to OpenAI asking for details about how it would create new voices.

The statement claims that this led to OpenAI’s announcement on Sunday post on X that they had decided to “pause the use of Sky”, the company’s name for the synthetic voice. The company also posted one blog posts Outline the process used to create voice. “Sky’s voice is not an imitation of Scarlett Johansson but belongs to another professional actress using her own natural voice,” the post said.

Sky was one of several synthetic voices that OpenAI provided to ChatGPT last September, but at last week’s event it demonstrated a much more lively intonation with emotional cues. The demo shows a version of ChatGPT powered by a new AI model called GPT-4o appearing to flirt with an OpenAI engineer in a way that many viewers were reminiscent of Johansson’s performance in She.

“Sky’s voice is not Scarlett Johansson’s and it was never intended to sound like her,” Sam Altman said in a statement provided by OpenAI. He claims the voice actor behind Sky’s voice was hired before the company contacted Johannsson. “Out of respect for Ms. Johansson, we have temporarily stopped using Sky’s voice in our productions. We are sorry to Ms. Johansson that we did not communicate better.”

The conflict with Johansson adds to OpenAI’s existing war with artists, writers and other creators. The company has secured one case number accused it of inappropriately using copyrighted content to train its algorithms, including lawsuits from The New York Times and authors including George R.R. Martin.

Innovative AI has made it much easier to create realistic synthetic voices, creating new opportunities and threats. In January, New Hampshire voters were bombarded with robocalls a deepfaked voice message from Joe Biden. In March, OpenAI said it had developed a technology that could copy someone’s voice from a 15-second clip, but The company said it would not release the technology because it can be abused.

Updated 5-20-2024, 9pm EDT: This article has been updated with comments from OpenAI CEO Sam Altman.


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