© 2024 Blaze Media LLC. All rights reserved.
Scarlett Johansson says OpenAI approached her about using her voice for ChatGPT. Now she has hired a legal team.
Photo by: Nathan Congleton/NBC via Getty Images

Scarlett Johansson says OpenAI approached her about using her voice for ChatGPT. Now she has hired a legal team.

Johansson said she was 'shocked' and 'angered' after learning one of ChatGPT's voices sounded just like hers.

OpenAI has decided to remove one of the voices previously used by ChatGPT, according to Tech Crunch. Some users discovered that one of the five voices used sounded suspiciously similar to actor Scarlett Johansson's voice.

A video made its way around social media last week, with users finding one of the voices to be similar to Johansson's actual voice. Some even ridiculed the voice for being too flirtatious, and others compared it with a voice that might manifest in a male fantasy.

The report noted that Johansson had hired a legal team to investigate the origins of OpenAI's "Sky" voice and how it was developed.

'To protect their privacy, we cannot share the names of our voice talents.'

In a statement on Monday, Johansson said she was approached by OpenAI CEO Sam Altman in September about voicing an audio feature for ChatGPT. However, she said she decided not to participate in Altman's project "after much consideration and for personal reasons."

“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,” Johansson said.

The company released a statement on Sunday, writing:

Voice Mode is one of the most beloved features in ChatGPT. Each of the five distinct voices you hear has been carefully selected through an extensive process spanning five months involving professional voice actors, talent agencies, casting directors, and industry advisors. We’re sharing more on how the voices were chosen.

In September of 2023, we introduced voice capabilities to give users another way to interact with ChatGPT. Since then, we are encouraged by the way users have responded to the feature and the individual voices. Each of the voices—Breeze, Cove, Ember, Juniper and Sky—are sampled from voice actors we partnered with to create them.

The voice under scrutiny is the "Sky" voice. In the statement, OpenAI appeared to insist 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."

However, the company said they could not release the name of the actress they used for privacy reasons.

Some people compared the "Sky" voice to the AI voice featured in the 2013 film "Her," which was performed by Johansson. And while the company has not said the "Sky" voice belongs to Johansson, Altman posted to X last week with a simple word: "her."

Like Blaze News? Bypass the censors, sign up for our newsletters, and get stories like this direct to your inbox. Sign up here!

Want to leave a tip?

We answer to you. Help keep our content free of advertisers and big tech censorship by leaving a tip today.
Want to join the conversation?
Already a subscriber?