ChatGPT voice removed due to sounding like Scarlet Johansson

ChatGPT voice removed due to sounding like Scarlett Johansson

/ 12:55 PM May 21, 2024

Watching OpenAI’s GPT-4o live demonstration reveals a remarkably human-like AI. You might even associate the ChatGPT voice with the female voice from the 2013 film “Her.”

The movie stars Joaquin Phoenix as a writer who falls in love with a talking operating system. However, it seems the latest AI voice sounds like Scarlett Johansson from the film.

READ: How to avoid AI voice scams

Coincidentally, OpenAI recently pulled out the problematic voice. It is also “working to pause” its availability while it “addresses” online inquiries about the voice.


How did OpenAI make the ChatGPT voice?

On May 19, 2024, the tech firm detailed how it chose the voices for its latest AI model. In early 2023, OpenAI partnered with award-winning casting directors and producers to create these criteria for the voices:

  • Actors from diverse backgrounds or who could speak multiple languages
  • A voice that feels timeless
  • An approachable voice that inspires trust
  • A warm, engaging, confidence-inspiring, charismatic voice with a rich tone
  • Natural and easy to listen to

In May 2023, the company said it received over 400 submissions from voice and screen actors. Then, it narrowed down its selection to 14.

A month later, OpenAI flew the actors to San Francisco for recording sessions. Eventually, the company finalized the selection for these ChatGPT voice options: Breeze, Cove, Juniper, Ember, and Sky.

OpenAI did not disclose their identities to protect their privacy. On September 25, 2023, the company launched its AI tool’s latest voices. 


On May 20, 2024, science news website PopSci reported that Scarlett Johansson’s publicist issued a statement to multiple news outlets.

It said her legal team, “wrote two letters to Mr. Altman and OpenAI, setting out what they had done and asking them to detail the exact process by which they created the ‘Sky’ voice. Consequently, OpenAI reluctantly agreed to take down the ‘Sky’ voice.”


Johansson admitted OpenAI CEO Sam Altman requested permission to use her voice in September 2023, but she declined.

“In a time when we are all grappling with deepfakes and the protection of our own likeness, our own work, our own identities,” Johansson wrote. 

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“I believe these are questions that deserve absolute clarity. I look forward to resolution in the form of transparency and the passage of appropriate legislation to help ensure that individual rights are protected.”

TOPICS: ChatGPT, technology
TAGS: ChatGPT, technology

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