Rose Law Group Intellectual Property & Artificial Intelligence Department Chair Paul Coble agrees with actress Scarlett Johansson: New laws needed after OpenAi chatbot voice sounds ‘eerily similar’ to hers

By Dawn Chmielewski and Anna Tong | REUTERS

Scarlett Johansson on Monday accused OpenAI of creating a voice for the ChatGPT system that sounded “eerily similar” to the actress after she declined to voice the chatbot herself.

Johansson made the comments in a statement released hours after the artificial intelligence company said it was taking down the voice, called ‘Sky.’

OpenAI CEO Sam Altman said in a statement emailed to Reuters on Monday that Sky’s voice was not an imitation of Johansson, but belonged to a different professional actress.

“Out of respect for Ms. Johansson, we have paused using Sky’s voice in our products. We are sorry to Ms. Johansson that we didn’t communicate better.”

Johansson in the statement said Altman had approached her last September and offered to hire her to voice a ChatGPT voice — an offer she declined.

“Nine months later, my friends, family and the general public all noted how much the newest system named ‘Sky’ sounded like me,” she said.

“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.”

Johansson added that Altman had “insinuated that the similarity was intentional” by tweeting a reference to “her,” the 2013 movie about a man who develops a relationship with an AI assistant voiced by the actress.


“When we crossed the uncanny valley in generative AI, we opened a canyon of privacy concerns.  Even ordinary people without the fame of Scarlett Johansson are worried about having their likeness taken and used without their permission.  There are some existing laws that can protect against particular misuses of deepfake likenesses—including name, image, and likeness (“NIL”) rights, libel, and even copyright laws—but they are imperfect.  Johansson is right that we need legislation to better enable all individuals to control their personal identities.”
– Paul Coble, Rose Law Group Intellectual Property & Artificial Intelligence Department Chair

Share this!

Additional Articles

News Categories

Get Our Twice Weekly Newsletter!

* indicates required

Rose Law Group pc values “outrageous client service.” We pride ourselves on hyper-responsiveness to our clients’ needs and an extraordinary record of success in achieving our clients’ goals. We know we get results and our list of outstanding clients speaks to the quality of our work.

May 2024