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Scarlett Johansson claims OpenAI copied “her” voice even after she declined an offer by the company. OpenAI CEO Sam Altman reportedly requested the services of the actress because her voice “would be comforting to people.”

The startling accusations prompted the company to pause using the voice known as “Sky.”

Johansson issued a statement on the matter noting that her closest friends and family found Sky’s voice to be nearly indiscernible from her own.

“When I heard the released demo,” she said in a statement, “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.”

The statement adds that Altman allegedly reached out to Johansson’s agent two days before the ChatGPT 4.0 demo was released. However, contact was never made. They released it anyway.

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OpenAI Pauses ‘Sky’ Voice After Scarlett Johansson’s Accusations

OpenAI CEO Sam Altman announced that the company would “pause” the use of the “Sky” voice. However, he also insisted that it is not a replica of Scarlett Johansson’s.

“The voice of Sky is not Scarlett Johansson’s, and it was never intended to resemble hers,” he claims. “We cast the voice actor behind Sky’s voice before any outreach to Ms. Johansson.”

“Out of respect for Ms. Johansson, we have paused using Sky’s voice in our products,” he continues. “We are sorry to Ms. Johansson that we didn’t communicate better.”

Altman, however, posted on X a week before the voice was released writing simply, “her.”

Her is a 2013 science-fiction film in which a man develops a relationship with Samantha, an artificially intelligent virtual assistant personified through a female voice.

Whose voice? Scarlett Johansson’s. Johansson is Samantha. Johansson is “Her.”

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Johansson expressed the need to seek legal counsel. She has also called for transparency and the passage of appropriate legislation to protect individual rights in the face of such situations.

“As a result of their actions, I was forced to hire legal counsel, who wrote two letters to Mr. Altman and OpenAl, setting out what they had done and asking them to detail the exact process by which they created the ‘Sky’ voice,” her statement reads.

This incident has raised questions about the ethical implications of AI voice cloning. It’s also raised questions about the need for clearer guidelines and laws in this area.

“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,” Johansson wrote.

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

When it comes to AI, we are truly living in the wild west. It will be interesting to see how this all turns out.

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