June 23, 2024


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Scarlett Johansson says OpenAI asked to use her voice twice.

Scarlett Johansson says OpenAI asked to use her voice twice.

Days before OpenAI showed off its sexy new voice assistant last week, actress Scarlett Johansson said Sam Altman, the company's CEO, called her agent and asked her to consider licensing her voice to a virtual assistant.

Ms. Johansson said in a statement on Monday that this was his second request to the actress in the past year, adding that the response both times was no.

Despite this rejection, Ms. Johansson said, OpenAI used a voice that sounded “eerily similar to mine.” She has hired a lawyer and asked OpenAI to stop using a voice called “Sky.”

OpenAI Its release was suspended From Sky over the weekend. The company said in a Blog post on Sunday that “AI voices should not intentionally mimic a celebrity's distinctive voice — Skye's voice is not an imitation of Scarlett Johansson but belongs to a different professional actress using her natural voice.”

In the 2013 film “Her,” a lonely introvert named Theodore, played by Joaquin Phoenix, is seduced by a virtual assistant named Samantha, voiced by Ms. Johansson. Last week, Mr. Altman appeared to point out the similarity in a dossier Share on X In one word “her”.

OpenAI said it cannot share the names of its audio professionals for privacy reasons. She said she worked with unspecified directors and producers to develop five voices for her product: Breeze, Cove, Ember, Juniper and Sky. The sounds were recorded last summer in San Francisco.

Ms Johansson's statement was previously reported before NPR's Bobby Allen.

Ms. Johansson is the latest high-profile figure to criticize OpenAI for using creative work without permission. Over the past year, OpenAI has been sued for copyright infringements by authors, actors, and newspapers, including Authors Guild of America And the New York Times, which filed a lawsuit against OpenAI and its partner Microsoft.

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This is a developing story. Check back for updates.