Explained: Scarlett Johansson VS Open AI Controversy

Explained: Scarlett Johansson VS Open AI Controversy

Hollywood actress Scarlett Johansson stated that she is forced to hire lawyers against the artificial intelligence (AI) company OpenAI, as the ChatGPT AI voice named 'Sky' sounds eerily similar to hers.

Manasi KambleUpdated: Tuesday, May 21, 2024, 02:55 PM IST
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Scarlett Johansson VS Open AI | Representative Image

Artificial intelligence, or AI, is here to stay and make things difficult for celebrities, as popular Hollywood actress Scarlett Johansson discovered recently. AI platform Open AI's product ChatGPT AI voice, Sky, sounding 'eerily similar' to Johansson, went live, and her family and friends noticed the similarities. The company has stated that it was out of respect for the actress.

OpenAI Voice 'Sky'

Artificial intelligence research lab OpenAI unveils its newest project, "Sky," an AI chatbot designed for user interaction. But Sky's debut is overshadowed by a surprising controversy. Scarlett Johansson, the Hollywood A-lister, accuses OpenAI of using a voice in Sky that sounds uncannily similar to hers without her consent.

The plot thickens when it's revealed that OpenAI had previously approached Johansson to be the voice of Sky, an offer she declined. Despite this, the launched voice sparked a wave of confusion. Johansson's family, friends, and even the general public couldn't help but notice the resemblance. This uncanny similarity led Johansson to believe that OpenAI was exploiting her vocal identity for commercial gain.

Scarlett Johansson's statement

The actress who played the voice of an AI character in the sci-fi film 'Her', gave a statement on May 20, raising the issue in the public eye and stating she is forced to take legal action against Sam Altman, CEO of Open AI, about the latest ChatGPT 4.O voice, 'Sky'. In the statement, Johansson also said that Sam Altman had asked her to voice the ChatGPT voice saying her voice, would be soothing to the users, and had declined the offer.

The actress expressed her anger and disappointment over the use of artificial intelligence and technology such as Deepfake that is threatening individuals security.

OpenAI's Defence

OpenAI vehemently denied replicating Johansson's voice. They claimed Sky's voice belonged to a different actress whose identity they couldn't disclose due to privacy concerns. However, they remained tight-lipped on the exact process to create the voice. Johansson, unsatisfied with their explanation, took legal action. Her lawyers demanded details about the voice creation process, putting pressure on OpenAI.

Legal Fiascal

Faced with legal pressure, OpenAI eventually relented. They have agreed to discontinue the use of the Sky voice and address Johansson's concerns. This resulted in the replacement of Sky voice with Juniper AI voice on the chatbot. The controversy ended with Sky being silenced, replaced by a voice that hopefully wouldn't spark further debates.

ChatGPT had introduced Sky and Juniper in September 2023.

Lingering Questions and Ethical Implications

While the immediate dispute was settled, the case raises critical questions about the evolving world of AI. How did OpenAI create such a similar voice? Did they use a vast dataset that unintentionally captured the essence of Johansson's speech patterns? More importantly, does the current legal framework adequately protect celebrities from the potential misuse of their voice and likeness in the age of advanced AI technology? The Scarlett Johansson vs OpenAI controversy serves as a wake-up call. As AI continues to develop, clear ethical and legal guidelines are needed to ensure responsible use of this powerful technology. Actresses and actors, along with other public figures, deserve to have control over their voice and image, even in the digital realm.

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