Scarlett Johansson says she is ‘shocked, angered’ over new ChatGPT voice

Lawyers for Scarlett Johansson are demanding that OpenAI disclose how it developed an AI personal assistant voice that the actress says sounds uncannily similar to her own.

Johansson’s legal team has sent OpenAI two letters asking the company to detail the process by which it developed a voice the tech company dubbed “Sky,” Johansson’s publicist told NPR in a revelation that has not been previously reported.

↫ Bobby Allyn at NPR

This story highlights just how much disdain techbros have for the work of creative people. Here’s the timeline:

  1. Nine months ago, Sam Altman approached Scarlett Johansson to ask her if OpenAI could use her voice for a voice assistant features. Johansson declined.
  2. Two days before the launch of the new voice assistant feature, Altman contacted Johansson’s agent again, asking her to reconsider.
  3. Before Johansson or her agent could reply, OpenAI launched the voice assistant, with a voice that sounds remarkably like Johansson’s. Altman even tweeted “Her”, the name of the film in which Johansson portrays an AI.
  4. After everyone started pointing this out, Johansson’s lawyers demanded OpenAI take the new voice down. They complied.

Techbros like Sam Altman deeply despise and undervalue the work of creatives, believing human creativity to be merely an equation to be solved, definable by an algorithm. To people like him, creative work has no value, and as such, is up for grabs to be taken and cut up for his algorithms to spit out as “new” works. This story highlights this perfectly.

The sleaze runs deep with Altman and OpenAI.


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