OpenAI to 'pause' voice linked to Scarlett Johansson

OpenAI to 'pause' voice linked to Scarlett Johansson

OpenAI says its 'Sky' artificial intelligence voice was made in collaboration with a professional actress and is not meant to sound like film star Scarlett Johansson
OpenAI says its 'Sky' artificial intelligence voice was made in collaboration with a professional actress and is not meant to sound like film star Scarlett Johansson. Photo: Noam Galai / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA/Getty Images via AFP
Source: AFP

ChatGPT-maker OpenAI on Monday said it was working on temporarily muting a synthetic voice that sounds a lot like that of actress Scarlett Johansson.

The artificial intelligence powerhouse said in a blog post that the "Sky" voice at issue was based on the natural speaking voice of a different professional actress and not meant to sound like Johansson.

"We believe that AI voices should not deliberately mimic a celebrity's distinctive voice," OpenAI said in the post.

"Sky’s voice is not an imitation of Scarlett Johansson."

OpenAI is working on a way to "pause" Sky as it addresses what appears to be confusion about who it sounds like, the company said in a post on X, formerly Twitter.

"We've heard questions about how we chose the voices in ChatGPT, especially Sky," OpenAI said.

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The company explained that it worked with professional voice actors on synthetic voices it named Breeze, Cove, Ember, Juniper, and Sky.

Sky became the focus of attention last week when OpenAI released a higher-performing and even more human-like GPT-4o version of the artificial intelligence technology that underpins ChatGPT.

In a demo, the new version Sky was far more human-like than previous iterations and at times even flirtatious, funny and capable of seamlessly jumping from one topic to the next, unlike most existing chatbots.

Several observers noted the resemblance with Johansson, whose voice played the central character in the film "Her", a cautionary tale about the future in which a man falls in love with an AI chatbot.

Adding to the confusion, on the day of the demo, OpenAI CEO Sam Altman posted a single word tweet on X: "Her".

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OpenAI said it was working to address the misperception just days after confirming it disbanded a team devoted to mitigating the long-term dangers of artificial intelligence.

OpenAI weeks ago began dissolving the so-called "superalignment" group, integrating members into other projects and research, according to the San Francisco-based firm.

Company co-founder Ilya Sutskever and superalignment team co-leader Jan Leike announced their departures from the ChatGPT-maker last week.

Source: AFP

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