June 22, 2024

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Scarlett Johansson says OpenAI stole her voice for ChatGPT

Scarlett Johansson says OpenAI stole her voice for ChatGPT

Last week, OpenAI unveiled a new chat interface for ChatGPT with an expressive synthetic voice that is strikingly similar to the voice of the AI ​​assistant played by Scarlett Johansson in the sci-fi film. Ha– just to Suddenly disabled New audio over the weekend.

On Monday, Johansson issued a statement claiming she had forced the rollback, after her lawyers demanded that OpenAI explain how the new audio was created.

Johansson statement, which her publicist relayed to WIRED, claims that OpenAI CEO Sam Altman asked her last September to provide the voice for the new ChatGPT but she declined. She describes her surprise to see the company showcase a new voice for ChatGPT last week that sounded like hers anyway.

“When I heard the demo for the release, I was shocked, angry and in disbelief that Mr. Altman would go with a voice that sounded so eerily similar to mine that my closest friends and the media couldn’t tell the difference,” the statement read. He notes that Altman seemed to encourage the world to connect the demo to Johansson’s performance by tweeting “Ha“, referring to the film, on May 13.

Johansson’s statement said that Altman called her agent two days before last week’s demo and asked her to reconsider her decision not to work with OpenAI. After seeing the demo, she said she hired legal counsel to write to OpenAI to request details on how the new audio would be released.

The statement claims that this led to OpenAI’s announcement on Sunday in… Share on X It decided to “temporarily stop using Sky,” the company’s name for synthetic sound. The company also published A Blog post Determine the process used to create the sound. “Sky’s voice is not an imitation of Scarlett Johansson, but belongs to a different professional actress using her natural voice,” the post read.

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Sky is one of several synthetic voices that OpenAI introduced for ChatGPT last September, but at last week’s event it demonstrated a more realistic tone with emotional overtones. The demo saw the ChatGPT version powered by a new AI model called GPT-4o appear to flirt with an OpenAI engineer in a way that many viewers found reminiscent of Johansson’s performance in Ha.

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

The conflict with Johansson adds to OpenAI’s existing battles with artists, writers and other creative people. The company is already defending a number of lawsuits alleging that it improperly used copyrighted content to train its algorithms, including lawsuits from The New York Times and authors including George R.R. Martin.

Generative AI has made it easier to create realistic synthetic voices, creating new opportunities and threats. In January, voters in New Hampshire were bombarded with automated phone calls that included a fake voice message from Joe Biden. In March, OpenAI said it had developed technology that can clone someone’s voice from a 15-second clip, but the company said it would not release the technology because of the potential for misuse.

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