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Scarlett Johansson alleges that OpenAI has replicated her voice for a chatbot without her consent

Scarlett Johansson has conveyed her astonishment and indignation following the release of an OpenAI chatbot that she alleges bears a voice “eerily similar” to her own, as reported.

Johansson was purportedly taken aback and distressed by this revelation. As per Scarlett Johansson, she had previously turned down an offer from OpenAI to lend her voice to their new chatbot.

Nevertheless, upon the recent release of the chatbot named “Sky,” observers remarked on its striking resemblance to Johansson’s voice in her 2013 film “Her.”

Despite OpenAI’s assertion that they would eliminate the voice and clarified it wasn’t intended as an imitation, Johansson, in a statement obtained by the BBC, accused the company and its founder, Sam Altman, of intentionally replicating her voice.

“In hearing the released demo, I was taken aback, furious, and utterly incredulous that Mr. Altman would pursue a voice so hauntingly similar to mine,” she penned. She had been approached by Mr. Altman regarding voicing the new chatbot back in September.

“Mr. Altman conveyed to me that he believed my voice could serve to bridge the gap between tech firms and creatives, aiding consumers in embracing the monumental shift surrounding humans and AI,” Johansson detailed.

“I eventually turned down the offer for personal reasons,” she stated.

Scarlett Johansson revealed that just two days prior to the Sky chatbot’s release, Altman reached out to her agent, urging her to reconsider her initial refusal to collaborate with the company on the project.

Johansson further disclosed that she has been compelled to engage lawyers to address this matter and has dispatched two legal letters to the company, seeking clarification on how they managed to create a voice for their chatbot that closely resembles her own.

The actress underscored that in an era fraught with concerns over deepfakes and the safeguarding of one’s identity, she believes these are inquiries that necessitate full transparency and clarity from OpenAI.

As of now, the company has not issued any comments regarding this incident. OpenAI stated on Monday that their creation was not intended to be an ‘imitation of a star.’

“We firmly believe that AI voices should refrain from intentionally mimicking a celebrity’s unique voice,” they wrote in a blog post.

Instead, the company asserts that the five voices employed were sourced from voice actors with whom OpenAI had collaborated.

Johansson’s legal threats against OpenAI coincide with the company facing several impending lawsuits.

However, in a statement released on Monday, OpenAI commented: “We’ve received inquiries about how we selected the voices in ChatGPT, particularly Sky. We are taking steps to temporarily halt the use of Sky while we address these concerns.”

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