Scarlett Johansson said no to voicing ChatGPT. It still sounds exactly like her.

Scarlett Johansson has released a scathing statement against OpenAI after the company used a voice she says is similar to hers in the most recent version of ChatGPT.

In the public statement, she claimed that OpenAI's CEO Sam Altman approached her to be the voice of its AI system, but she declined for "personal reasons".

According to the actress, Altman reached out for the second time to her agent just a few days before the new voice assistant was launched to see if she would rethink her decision.

However, Johansson said that before she could respond, the voice 'Sky' was released and it sounded eerily similar to her own.

Watch: Scarlett Johansson talks about female friendships. Post continues below.

Video via Sony Pictures.

"When I heard the released demo, I was shocked, angered and in disbelief that Mr Altman would pursue a voice that sounded so eerily similar to mine that my closest friends and news outlets could not tell the difference," she said.

Johansson believes it was an intentional move on Altman's part, as he tweeted the word "her" when 'Sky' was released—the name of a 2013 movie in which she voiced a chat system. 


Altman has been open about his love for the film Her, telling AI event Dreamforce 2023 that he liked how Scarlett Johansson's AI personal assistant communicated with the human in the film, played by Joaquin Phoenix. 

The body that represents actors, SAG-AFTRA, has also released a statement in the wake of OpenAI's voice 'Sky'. 

"We share in [Johansson's] concerns and fully support her right to have clarity and transparency regarding the voice used in developing the Chat GPT-4o appliance 'Sky'," said a spokesperson.

"SAG-AFTRA members are among the most talented and often most recognizable people on the planet. That is why we’re strongly championing federal legislation that would protect their voices and likenesses—and everyone else’s as well—from unauthorized digital replication."

Naturally, the use of a voice similar to Johansson's is a worrying development in the world of generative AI. 

Image: Getty


Despite being an enormously useful tool that has rapidly changed the way we approach technology, there has been increasing concerns about security, privacy and deepfakes. 

Johansson called this out in her statement.

"In a time when we are all grappling with deepfakes and the protection of our own likeness, our own work, our own identities, I believe these are questions that deserve absolute clarity," said Johansson.

"I look forward to resolution in the form of transparency and the passage of appropriate legislation to help ensure that individual rights are protected."

In response, OpenAI has paused the use of 'Sky', and said the move was not intentional.

"We believe that AI voices should not deliberately mimic a celebrity’s distinctive voice — Sky’s voice is not an imitation of Scarlett Johansson but belongs to a different professional actress using her own natural speaking voice," wrote the company.


Read Johansson's full statement here. 

Scarlett Johansson's statement in full. Image: Supplied.

Feature Image: Getty.