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Scarlett Johansson recently spoke out against OpenAI CEO Sam Altman, accusing the company of using a voice that sounds like hers in its artificial intelligence software without her consent. Johansson stated that Altman had approached her with an offer to hire her as the voice of the ChatGPT 4.0 system, citing that he believed her voice would be comforting to people. Despite declining the offer for personal reasons, Johansson claimed that the company went ahead and used a voice that she believes sounded like her on their new system called “Sky.”

The actress expressed shock, anger, and disbelief upon hearing the released demo, noting that her friends, family, and the general public had also pointed out similarities between the voice in the AI software and her own. Johansson went on to criticize Altman for allegedly insinuating that the similarity was intentional by tweeting the word “her,” which is a reference to the film “Her” in which she voiced a chat system named Samantha who forms an intimate relationship with a human. Altman’s tweet on May 13 seemed to acknowledge the connection to Johansson’s previous work, further fueling her frustration and disappointment.

Johansson’s statement reflects a larger conversation surrounding the ethics and consent involved in using celebrity voices for AI technology. While the use of famous voices can enhance the user experience and bring a sense of familiarity, it also raises questions about ownership, privacy, and exploitation. In this case, Johansson’s concerns about her voice being used without permission highlight the importance of respecting individuals’ rights and agency when it comes to their likeness and personal representation in digital platforms.

As a well-known actress, Johansson’s voice is a distinctive part of her identity and brand, making it particularly sensitive when it comes to unauthorized usage. Her decision to speak out and hold Altman and OpenAI accountable for their actions sends a message about the need for transparency, communication, and consent in collaborations involving celebrity voices and AI technology. By sharing her experience publicly, Johansson brings attention to the challenges and complexities of navigating the intersection of entertainment, technology, and privacy in the digital age.

Moving forward, Johansson’s case may lead to a reevaluation of industry practices and legal standards surrounding the use of celebrity voices in AI applications. Companies like OpenAI may need to consider more robust protocols for obtaining consent, negotiating contracts, and honoring the rights of individuals whose voices are being replicated in artificial intelligence. Celebrities, in turn, may become more vigilant about protecting their voices as a valuable asset and asserting control over how they are used in various commercial contexts, including emerging technologies like AI.

In conclusion, Scarlett Johansson’s public statement about the unauthorized use of her voice in OpenAI’s AI software serves as a reminder of the importance of ethical considerations, consent, and accountability in the development and deployment of celebrity voices in digital platforms. Her advocacy for greater respect for individuals’ rights and privacy in these contexts sheds light on the complexities and challenges of navigating the evolving landscape of technology and entertainment. By sharing her experience and raising awareness about these issues, Johansson sparks a broader conversation about the ethical implications of using celebrity voices in AI and calls for a more thoughtful and responsible approach to leveraging famous voices in digital innovations.

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