OpenAI Didn’t Copy Scarlett Johansson’s Voice for ChatGPT, Records Show



OpenAI Didn’t Copy Scarlett Johansson’s Voice for ChatGPT, Records Show (msn.com)






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EditorDavid

from the Her-vs-Sky dept.

The Atlantic argued this week that OpenAI “just gave away the entire game… The Johansson scandal is merely a reminder of AI’s manifest-destiny philosophy: This is happening, whether you like it or not.

But the Washington Post reports that OpenAI “didn’t copy Scarlett Johansson’s voice for ChatGPT, records show.”

[W]hile many hear an eerie resemblance between [ChatGPT voice] “Sky” and Johansson’s “Her” character, an actress was hired in June to create the Sky voice, months before Altman contacted Johansson, according to documents, recordings, casting directors and the actress’s agent. The agent, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, citing the safety of her client, said the actress confirmed that neither Johansson nor the movie “Her” were ever mentioned by OpenAI. The actress’s natural voice sounds identical to the AI-generated Sky voice, based on brief recordings of her initial voice test reviewed by The Post…

[Joanne Jang, who leads AI model behavior for OpenAI], said she “kept a tight tent” around the AI voices project, making Chief Technology Officer Mira Murati the sole decision-maker to preserve the artistic choices of the director and the casting office. Altman was on his world tour during much of the casting process and not intimately involved, she said…. To Jang, who spent countless hours listening to the actress and keeps in touch with the human actors behind the voices, Sky sounds nothing like Johansson, although the two share a breathiness and huskiness. In a statement from the Sky actress provided by her agent, she wrote that at times the backlash “feels personal being that it’s just my natural voice and I’ve never been compared to her by the people who do know me closely.”



More from Northeastern University’s news service:

“The voice of Sky is not Scarlett Johansson’s, and it was never intended to resemble hers,” Altman said in a statement. “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 to Ms. Johansson that we didn’t communicate better…”

[Alexandra Roberts, a Northeastern University law and media professor] says she believes things will settle down and Johansson will probably not sue OpenAI since the company is no longer using the “Sky” voice. “If they stopped using it, and they promised her they’re not going to use it, then she probably doesn’t have a case,” she says. “She probably doesn’t have anything to sue on anymore, and since it was just a demo, and it wasn’t a full release to the general public that offers the full range of services they plan to offer, it would be really hard for her to show any damages.”



Maybe it’s analgous to something Sam Altman said earlier this month on the All-In podcast. “Let’s say we paid 10,000 musicians to create a bunch of music, just to make a great training set, where the music model could learn everything about song structure and what makes a good, catchy beat and everything else, and only trained on that… I was posing that as a thought experiment to musicians, and they were like, ‘Well, I can’t object to that on any principle basis at that point — and yet there’s still something I don’t like about it.'”

Altman added “Now, that’s not a reason not to do it, um, necessarily, but…” and then talked about Apple’s “Crush” ad and the importance of preserving human creativity. He concluded by saying that OpenAI has “currently made the decision not to do music, and partly because exactly these questions of where you draw the lines…”

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