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Johansson Versus OpenAI

The Hollywood actors union, SAG-AFTRA, voiced support yesterday for Scarlett Johansson after the actress raised concerns over OpenAI's new artificial intelligence chatbot that features a voice that allegedly sounds similar to her own. OpenAI unveiled its latest model, GPT-4o, last week, allowing users the ability to converse with an AI system; at issue is a persona named "Sky."

Johansson revealed OpenAI CEO Sam Altman approached her last year to voice the AI model—the actress voiced a fictional AI assistant in the 2013 film "Her"—but she declined the offer. OpenAI agreed to remove the "Sky" voice after Johansson's lawyers demanded an explanation of how it was created. OpenAI claimed the voice belonged to a different unnamed actress and followed up with a blog post on how it created the voices.

The incident has reignited concerns over protecting artists' voices and likenesses from unauthorized replication, with SAG-AFTRA recently backing legislation to safeguard its members.

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