Search results for

All search results
Best daily deals

Affiliate links on Android Authority may earn us a commission. Learn more.

'Shocked and angered': Scarlett Johansson slams OpenAI over ChatGPT voice

The actor had previously turned down an offer to be the voice of the AI assistant.

Published onMay 20, 2024

ChatGPT stock photo 73
Calvin Wankhede / Android Authority
  • OpenAI’s ChatGPT-4o demo featured an AI voice eerily similar to Scarlett Johansson’s character in a 2013 movie.
  • The actor released a statement today expressing shock and anger over her likeliness in the voice.
  • Johansson had received an offer from OpenAI to voice the AI assistant, which she declined.

OpenAI made news last week when it demonstrated its updated ChatGPT-4o model, which could talk, laugh, and react like a human. However, many users immediately noticed that the model reminded them of an *actual* human, Scarlett Johansson.

In a surprising turn of events, Scarlett Johansson has now publicly accused OpenAI of using a voice eerily similar to hers for one of its ChatGPT-4o voices, “Sky.”

The issue began when last week’s ChatGPT demo used an AI voice that was quickly compared to Johansson’s role in the 2013 sci-fi film Her, in which she voiced an AI personal assistant. Adding fuel to the fire, OpenAI CEO Sam Altman tweeted the word “Her” after the announcement of the new ChatGPT version.

OpenAI has since removed the “Sky” voice from the model while stating that it had developed the AI voice from another actress whose identity remains undisclosed for privacy reasons. The company maintains that the voice is not an imitation of Johansson but belongs to a different professional using her natural speaking voice.

In the statement released today (via NPR), Johansson expressed her shock and anger upon hearing the demo, stating that even her close friends and news outlets couldn’t distinguish the AI voice from her own.

However, Johansson’s statement reveals a deeper layer of the story. Nine months ago, Altman allegedly offered her the role of voicing the new ChatGPT voice assistant, but she declined due to personal reasons. Just two days before the unveiling, Altman reached out again, urging her to reconsider, but the company went ahead with the launch before any agreement could be reached.

As a result, Johansson has sought legal counsel and sent two letters to OpenAI demanding transparency regarding the development process of the “Sky” voice. It seems like OpenAI’s takedown of the Sky voice could have been related to these letters.

Johansson’s statement highlights concerns over deepfakes and the protection of individual likeness, work, and identity in the age of AI. This incident is turning into a major chapter in the ongoing debate about the ethical implications of AI technology.

Here’s the statement in full:

“Last September, I received an offer from Sam Altman, who wanted to hire me to voice the current ChatGPT 4.0 system. 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 Al. He said he felt that my voice would be comforting to people.
After much consideration and for personal reasons, I declined the offer. Nine months later, my friends, family and the general public all noted how much the newest system named “Sky” sounded like me.
When I heard the released demo, I was shocked, angered and in disbelief that Mr. Altman would pursue a voice that sounded so eerily similar to mine that my closest friends and news outlets could not tell the difference. Mr. Altman even insinuated that the similarity was intentional, tweeting a single word “her” – a reference to the film in which I voiced a chat system, Samantha, who forms an intimate relationship with a human.
Two days before the ChatGPT 4.0 demo was released, Mr. Altman contacted my agent, asking me to reconsider. Before we could connect, the system was out there.
As a result of their actions, I was forced to hire legal counsel, who wrote two letters to Mr. Altman and OpenAl, setting out what they had done and asking them to detail the exact process by which they created the “Sky” voice. Consequently, OpenAl reluctantly agreed to take down the “Sky” voice.
In a time when we are all grappling with deepfakes and the protection of our own likeness, our own work, our own identities, I believe these are questions that deserve absolute clarity. I look forward to resolution in the form of transparency and the passage of appropriate legislation to help ensure that individual rights are protected.”
Got a tip? Talk to us! Email our staff at You can stay anonymous or get credit for the info, it's your choice.

You might like