Scarlett Johansson is one of the most talented and influential actresses in the industry. She has been part of movies that have grossed over $15.4 billion worldwide, making her one of the highest-grossing box office actresses of all time. She is known for playing very significant characters in movies, including Vicky Cristina Barcelona, Lost in Translation, The Prestige, Lucy, and more. Johansson also portrayed the character of Black Widow in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Scarlett Johansson
Scarlett Johansson as Black Widow | Marvel Studios

2013’s Her, starring Joaquin Phoenix, Amy Adams, Rooney Mara, and more, is a science-fiction romantic drama. Johansson voiced the character of Samantha in the movie, an artificially intelligent virtual assistant. The critics and the audience appreciated the actress for her voice acting in the movieHer also won the award for Best Original Screenplay at the 86th Academy Awards and is considered one of the best movies of the 2010s. But Scarlett Johansson is not ready to voice an actual OpenAI and is ready to fight for her voice.

Scarlett Johansson blasts tech company OpenAI for featuring a voice similar to hers

The Marvel actress shared a lengthy statement with publications in which she detailed that after she declined to voice the latest version of the ChatGPT bot, OpenAI featured a voice that is very similar to hers. The similarity in the voice has left the actress shocked, and according to her, it forced her to hire legal counsel.

In her statement, Scarlett Johansson said,

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 voicing the system, I could bridge the gap between tech companies and creatives and help consumers feel comfortable with the seismic shift concerning humans and AI. He said he felt that my voice would be comforting to people.

Scarlett Johansson
Scarlett Johansson in Hail, Caesar! | Universal Studios

The actress further noted that she decided not to accept the offer after a lot of consideration, but nine months later, everyone around her pointed out how the new system was named Sky and sounded like her. She added that she was shocked, angered, and in disbelief that the tech company owner would go ahead and pursue a voice that sounded so similar to hers. She pointed out how Sam Altman even tweeted her, a reference to her character, Samantha.

Johansson shared in her statement that Altman had once again tried to reach out to her, asking her to consider the offer again, but before they could connect, the system was out there. Scarlett Johansson said that because of this, she was forced to hire legal counsel, asking OpenAI to detail their process of creating Sky’s voice.

The actress noted how there have been so many cases of deepfakes, and she needs clarity on the situation. The Marvel actress ended her statement by saying that she is looking forward to a resolution in the form of transparency.

Sam Altman says Sky’s voice was never intended to resemble Scarlett Johansson’s

After Johansson’s lengthy statement on how she has been disappointed by tech company owner Sam Altman, the owner decided to address the situation. In his statement to EW, he shared

The voice of Sky is not Scarlett Johansson’s, and it was never intended to resemble hers. We cast the voice actor behind Sky’s voice before any outreach to Ms. Johansson. Out of respect for Ms. Johansson, we have paused using Sky’s voice in our products. We are sorry, Ms. Johansson, that we didn’t communicate better.

Scarlett Johansson
Scarlett Johansson in Don Jon | Voltage Pictures

They shared that they cannot share the names of the voice team to protect their privacy, but claimed that the voice belongs to another actress using her natural speaking voice. In the demo version of Sky, the AI was at times heard as being funny and flirtatious and was capable of jumping from one topic to another, unlike most existing chatbots.

Yusuf Mehdi, Vice President of Microsoft, stated (via Yahoo) that the AI was not a he or she but a unique entity, adding that it should not be human and shouldn’t breathe. He noted that the audience should be able to figure out that it’s AI.

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