Home News OpenAI Pulls ChatGPT Voice Resembling Scarlett Johansson Amid Controversy

OpenAI Pulls ChatGPT Voice Resembling Scarlett Johansson Amid Controversy

OpenAI Pulls ChatGPT Voice Resembling Scarlett Johansson Amid Controversy

OpenAI has decided to pull the latest version of its ChatGPT voice assistant, GPT-4o, following widespread controversy. The new voice, which many users claimed sounded eerily similar to Scarlett Johansson’s character Samantha from the 2013 film “Her,” sparked debates and concerns across social media and within the tech community.


OpenAI unveiled GPT-4o, also known as Omni, as a major upgrade to its AI capabilities, introducing real-time conversation features. The new voice assistant was designed to offer a more natural and human-like interaction, boasting a warm, feminine tone with a slight rasp, closely mirroring Johansson’s portrayal in “Her”​.

The Controversy

Shortly after its release, users and tech enthusiasts flooded social media with comparisons to Johansson’s iconic role. Tweets and posts highlighted the uncanny resemblance, with many speculating whether the similarity was intentional. This likeness raised ethical and legal questions about the use of celebrity voices without explicit permission​​.

Even OpenAI’s CEO, Sam Altman, indirectly fueled the speculation by tweeting a cryptic reference to the film, simply stating, “Her”​​. Despite OpenAI’s claims that the voice was one of several options and not specifically designed to imitate Johansson, the public backlash was significant enough to prompt the company to reconsider its implementation.

Official Response

In response to the controversy, OpenAI stated that the resemblance to Johansson’s voice was coincidental and not a deliberate attempt to replicate her performance in “Her.” The company’s Chief Technology Officer, Mira Murati, emphasized that the AI’s voice was intended to exhibit rich personality and tonality to enhance user interaction​.

However, the mounting public pressure and potential legal implications led OpenAI to suspend the feature temporarily. This decision reflects the growing scrutiny over AI developments and the importance of ethical considerations in technology​​.

Implications and Future Considerations

The incident underscores the challenges tech companies face as they push the boundaries of AI capabilities. The balance between innovation and ethical responsibility is delicate, particularly when it involves the replication of human attributes. This case may set a precedent for how companies approach the development of AI voices and the potential need for stricter guidelines and transparency.

OpenAI’s move to pull the GPT-4o voice highlights the importance of public perception and the need for companies to respond swiftly to user concerns. As AI continues to evolve, ongoing dialogue between developers, legal experts, and the public will be crucial in navigating the complex landscape of artificial intelligence and its applications.

OpenAI’s experience with the GPT-4o voice assistant serves as a critical reminder of the ethical and legal complexities in AI development. The decision to pull the feature reflects the company’s commitment to addressing public concerns and underscores the need for careful consideration in future AI advancements. As technology continues to advance, the industry must navigate these challenges with a focus on transparency and ethical integrity.


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