Scarlett Johansson Accuses OpenAI of Using Her Voice Without Permission; Actress Says She's Shocked, Angered When Heard ChatGPT's Immitation

By Madz Dizon

May 20, 2024 08:25 PM EDT

Scarlet Johansson Accuses OpenAI of Using Her Voice Without Permission; Actress Says She's Shocked, Angered When Heard ChatGPT's Immitation
Scarlett Johansson attends the "Asteroid City" photocall at the 76th annual Cannes film festival at Palais des Festivals on May 24, 2023 in Cannes, France.
(Photo : Mike Coppola/Getty Images)

Scarlett Johansson has released a statement in response to OpenAI's decision to remove a contentious voice from ChatGPT, following allegations that it mimicked the actress.

Scarlett Johansson Alleges OpenAI of Copying Her Voice for 'Sky' From ChatGPT

The voice, referred to as 'Sky', was originally designed to enable ChatGPT to interact with users using spoken language. It was just one of the many voice options available in the artificial intelligence tool.

In the days leading up to OpenAI's recent demonstration, there was a notable interaction involving actress Scarlett Johansson and Sam Altman, the chief executive of the company.

According to the New York Times, Altman reached out to Johansson's agent to discuss the possibility of licensing her voice for a virtual assistant. 

Johannson revealed that this was the second time OpenAI had reached out to her in the past year. She made it clear that her response, both times, was a firm no. 

In spite of the rejections, Johansson expressed her concern about OpenAI's use of a voice that closely resembled her own. She has taken legal action and requested that OpenAI cease using a particular voice referred to as "Sky." 

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OpenAI Posted on X About Accusation

Johansson has had conflicts with major corporations such as Disney in previous instances. In 2021, Johansson and Walt Disney reached a resolution in the breach of contract lawsuit filed by the 'Black Widow' actor against the studio.

"We've heard questions about how we chose the voices in ChatGPT, especially Sky. Sky's voice is not an imitation of Scarlett 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," Microsoft-backed OpenAI posted on X on Monday.  

Johansson reached out to Altman and OpenAI, requesting information about the development of Sky through two written letters, CNBC reported.

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