• Scarlett Johansson's voice was said to be used in AI
  • Fans were quick to point out the foul play
  • The makers of OpenAI have responded

It's such a weird time to be alive these days. Despite denials from OpenAI that 'Sky' was intended to mimic Johansson, the company has put the feature on hold to address the burgeoning controversy. Come with us as we look at the juicy details of this AI-meets-celebrity saga, exploring the implications and reactions from the digital and entertainment communities.

Scarlett at your fingertips

In what feels like a plot straight out of a sci-fi blockbuster, OpenAI has found itself at the center of a voice cloning controversy that could rival any Hollywood drama!

The tech giant has been forced to press the pause button on its ChatGPT voice 'Sky' after users raised alarms over its eerie resemblance to Scarlett Johansson's iconic voice. Fans couldn't help but notice the similarity, sparking a frenzy on social media platforms and beyond.

OpenAI, in a bid to clear the air, released a statement denying any deliberate attempt to clone the 'Her' actress's voice. "Sky's voice is not an imitation of Scarlett Johansson but belongs to a different professional actress using her own natural speaking voice," the company insisted, choosing to keep the identity of the voice talent under wraps to protect their privacy.

"We believe that AI voices should not deliberately mimic a celebrity’s distinctive voice — Sky’s voice is not an imitation of Scarlett Johansson but belongs to a different professional actress using her own natural speaking voice," OpenAI wrote in a blog post Monday. "To protect their privacy, we cannot share the names of our voice talents."

Adding a layer of intrigue to the saga, OpenAI's CEO, Sam Altman, revealed that Spike Jonze's 'Her' — where Johansson voices an AI girlfriend — is his favorite movie. This revelation, shared on X (formerly Twitter), has only fueled speculation and added a deliciously ironic twist to the unfolding drama.

Introduced in September 2023, the voice capabilities of ChatGPT, including 'Sky' and its counterparts — Breeze, Cove, Ember, and Juniper — were sampled from voice actors in partnership with OpenAI. Despite the controversy, OpenAI assures that each actor is compensated generously for their contributions.

"Each actor receives compensation above top-of-market rates, and this will continue for as long as their voices are used in our products," OpenAI said.

"We’ve heard questions about how we chose the voices in ChatGPT, especially Sky," they posted on X. "We are working to pause the use of Sky while we address them."

Also interesting:

As the tech community and Scarlett Johansson fans alike wait with bated breath, OpenAI is working diligently to address the concerns raised.

The recent demo of its GPT-4o model, which boasts more expressive voice features and real-time language translation, has only heightened interest in the capabilities and ethical implications of AI voices