OpenAI Pulls ChatGPT Voice ‘Sky’ After Users Say It Sounds Like Scarlett Johansson in ‘Her’

“Sky’s voice is not an imitation of Scarlett Johansson but belongs to a different professional actress,” OpenAI says 

Cannes 2023 Scarlett Johansson
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OpenAI is pulling the ChatGPT voice known as Sky after users noted that the chatbot sounds incredibly similar to Scarlett Johansson. The AI company is putting the feature “on pause” but denies the voice is a copy the “Her” actress.

“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.”

Notably, OpenAI CEO Sam Altman has previously said that Spike Jonze’s “Her,” which features Johansson voicing an AI girlfriend, is his favorite movie, posting the title on X last week. 

In September 2023, OpenAI introduced voice capabilities to its users for interactions with ChatGPT. The five voices — Breeze, Cove, Ember, Juniper and Sky — are sampled from voice actors the company partnered with during development, according to OpenAI. 

“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,” OpenAI wrote on X, formerly known as Twitter. “We are working to pause the use of Sky while we address them.”

Concerns about the voice feature have been brought to the forefront in recent days, following OpenAI’s demo of its new GPT-4o model, which makes the voice feature more expressive and able to translate spoken language in real-time. 

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