OpenAI pulling Scarlett Johansson-like voice model out of ChatGPT

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OpenAI has recently launched the GPT-4o model with enhanced capabilities across text, vision, listening, and more as compared to GPT-4, which also beat Gemini 1.5 Pro in a recent comparison. And it offers all of that for free with faster responses. One of the key features they showed off during the latest announcement was the improved voice functionality of the new model. You can ask the model to respond in a different tone, and it surprisingly adapts to user preferences very well.

OpenAI is pulling out the Sky voice model from ChatGPT that sounds remarkably similar to a movie character

However, the latest news is that OpenAI is pulling out one of the five present voice models, Sky, from ChatGPT. OpenAI launched the Voice Mode back in September last year as a new way to interact with ChatGPT. It offers its users five distinct voices to choose from – Breeze, Cove, Ember, Juniper, and Sky.

For those who didn’t notice, the Sky model somehow sounds remarkably similar to the character Scarlett Johansson in the movie Her. The company’s CEO Sam Altman also made a post on X with a single word ‘her’ last week. Not to mention, the similarity in voice with the movie character has already made its way to multiple headlines.

The AI startup has recently discussed how they choose the voices for ChatGPT. They have also addressed Sky’s similarity to Scarlett Johansson’s voice. “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,” the company noted in the discussion.

OpenAI claims this is unintentional

The company’s CTO Mira Murati also claimed that the Scarlett Johansson-like voice is not an intentional outcome. She also emphasized that OpenAI has had the voice for a while. “Someone asked me in the audience this exact same question, and then she said, ‘Ah, maybe the reason I didn’t recognize it from ChatGPT is because the voice has so much personality and tonality,’” she said.

Nonetheless, OpenAI is pulling out the Scarlett Johansson-like Sky model from ChatGPT. The company noted that they are working to pause the use of the Sky model until they address the issue. The company didn’t reveal whether they have faced any legal challenges due to the unintended similarity.