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Last week, OpenAI launched major updates to ChatGPT including a big focus on voice functionality. But, just a few days later, ChatGPT is losing its “Sky” voice option because it sounds a lot like Scarlett Johansson.

A huge focus of the new GPT-4o model that’s rolling out to ChatGPT is on voice. The LLM can now use a very realistic-sounding voice that can vary its tone and cadence depending on the situation and prompt. It’s impressive in demos, and builds on the handful of voices OpenAI launched in 2023 – Breeze, Cove, Ember, Juniper and Sky. You can hear all of those voices in this video.

That last voice, Sky, is now being temporarily disabled.

Why?

It’s been noticed by many that the voice bears a striking resemblance to that of actress Scarlett Johansson, especially given the context that Johansson voiced an AI in the 2013 film “Her.” OpenAI’s GPT-4o was compared to the AI in that film by many, including OpenAI’s Sam Altman.

OpenAI notes that all of its voices were built using the work of real voice actors, though the company doesn’t name any of the actors and actresses who contributed their voices to the work. OpenAI does add that it provides “compensation above top-of-market rates” for the voice work and that it “will continue for as long as their voices are used in our products.”

In a blog post, OpenAI says specifically calls out that the Sky voice is not meant to be an imitation of Scarlett Johansson.

Sky’s voice is not an imitation of Scarlett Johansson but belongs to a different professional actress using her own natural speaking voice. To protect their privacy, we cannot share the names of our voice talents.

That post doesn’t include any mention of ChatGPT losing the Sky voice option, but OpenAI says on Twitter/X that it is “working to pause” the option given the concerns around the similarities to Johansson. There’s no word yet on what changes will be made or when the voice might return.

We’ve heard questions about how we chose the voices in ChatGPT, especially Sky. We are working to pause the use of Sky while we address them.

Read more about how we chose these voices: https://t.co/R8wwZjU36L

— OpenAI (@OpenAI) May 20, 2024

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The post ChatGPT disables ‘Sky’ voice because it sounds too much like Scarlett Johansson first appeared on 9to5google.com

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