OpenAI is removing one of ChatGPT’s voices. Users discovered that it sounded similar to Hollywood actress Scarlett Johansson, the company announced on Monday, and Johansson herself issued a statement stating she sought legal counsel to investigate the Sky Voice and learn more about how it was created. Sky is now being halted after OpenAI used it to demo its updated GPT-4o model last week.

According to Johansson’s statement, OpenAI approached her last September to be the voice of their new chatbot. After “much consideration and for personal reasons,” she declined the offer. However, upon the release of the ChatGPT update featuring a new voice option named “Sky,” Johansson was surprised to find it bore a striking resemblance to hers.

News outlets and even close friends reportedly struggled to differentiate between Sky’s voice and Johansson’s. The actress expressed shock and anger at this development, questioning OpenAI’s motives. She further stated that she was “forced to hire legal counsel” to understand how OpenAI created the voice and determine if they had misappropriated her voice data.

OpenAI responded by acknowledging Johansson’s concerns and promptly removing the Sky voice from their platform. CEO Sam Altman released a statement clarifying that “the voice of Sky is not Scarlett Johansson’s, and it was never intended to resemble hers.” He added that the voice belonged to a “different professional actress” but declined to reveal her identity for privacy reasons.

While OpenAI maintains they did not use Johansson’s voice, the situation raises questions about how they generate their AI voices and the potential for unintended imitation. Johansson’s experience highlights the ethical considerations surrounding the use of voice data in AI development, sparking discussions about transparency and user consent.

This incident serves as a reminder of the evolving landscape of AI and the need for clear regulations regarding the use of personal data in its development. As AI becomes more sophisticated, ensuring responsible practices and ethical considerations will be paramount.