Touch too much: OpenAI halts ChatGPT voice Sky because of… Scarlett Johansson

Touch too much: OpenAI halts ChatGPT voice Sky because of… Scarlett Johansson

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OpenAI announces that they’re putting the Sky voice option for ChatGPT on pause while they address the issues.

If you’re not the type of person to chat with ChatGPT, but you still want to communicate with the AI model, you’ve surely tried the voice options:

  • Breeze
  • Cove
  • Ember
  • Juniper
  • Sky (now paused)

And, if you’ve watched Spike Jonze’s Her (2013) you’ll be amazed how much Sky sounds like Samantha, the sentient AI that was voiced by none other than Scarlett Johansson.In fact, while listening to Sky, one could get the urge to grow a mustache a la Joaquin Phoenix’s Her character, Theodore.

Here, listen to that:

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Back to ChatGPT, though:

The company asserts that Sky was not intended as an imitation. This decision follows the launch of voice capabilities for ChatGPT in September 2023. OpenAI emphasizes that the selection process for these voices involved five months of meticulous collaboration with voice actors, casting directors, and industry advisors.Since the unveiling of GPT-4o, Sky’s voice has increasingly evoked comparisons to Scarlett Johansson’s voice, given its expressive qualities. However, OpenAI maintains that Sky’s voice belongs to a different actress, whose identity they choose to keep confidential for privacy reasons.

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OpenAI collaborated with esteemed casting professionals to establish criteria for selecting the voices, prioritizing diversity, timelessness, approachability, warmth, and charisma. Over 400 voice and screen actors auditioned in May 2023, with recordings ranging from answering mindfulness questions to discussing travel plans.

Following a thorough review process, OpenAI engaged in discussions with top contenders to align their vision for human-AI interactions. Actors were briefed on the technology’s implications and safeguards.

How were the voices selected?

This is what OpenAI says about the voice castings:

Some of these characteristics included:

  • 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 rich tone
  • Natural and easy to listen to

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