Scarlett Johansson Hires Lawyers to Accuse OpenAI of Stealing Her Voice

Scarlett Johansson Hires Lawyers to Accuse OpenAI of Stealing Her Voice

Hollywood actress Scarlett Johansson announced she was “forced to hire legal counsel” to force OpenAI to remove an AI chatbot she alleges was designed to sound like her.

On Monday, Johansson claimed OpenAI CEO Sam Altman sent her an offer in September to provide vocal data for ChatGPT. “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 AI,” she explained.

“After much consideration and for personal reasons” she declined his invitation.

 OpenAI released GPT-4o last week featuring many impressive visual, audio, and real-time mental processing capabilities. In the demonstrations of the new features, an AI voice called Sky was used. “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,” Johansson said.

Altman is denying her charges. The voice of Sky “is not Scarlett Johansson’s, and it was never intended to resemble hers,” Altman said, adding that they did the voicing for Sky before approaching Johansson. “We are sorry to Ms. Johansson that we didn’t communicate better.” A blog post on OpenAI echoed these defenses.

Sky has since been taken down and replaced with a different chatbot called Juniper. According to Bloomberg, Sky has been available since September.

Johansson played an AI persona in the 2013 film “Her.” Altman posted the word “Her” last week on X, further drawing the connections between Johansson and OpenAI’s voice.