OpenAI’s new AI sounds eerily like Scarlett Johansson in 'Her'

Is it a coincidence or a glimpse into a dystopian future? Sam Altman weighs in.

Pop Culture & Art May 15, 2024

OpenAI unveiled its latest innovation, GPT-4o, in a livestream demonstration that left audiences both astounded and perplexed.

The star of the show? A talking AI with a voice eerily reminiscent of Scarlett Johansson's virtual character, Samantha, from the film 'Her'.

The company unveiled its newest model, GPT-4o, which features real-time conversation capabilities, allowing users to talk to it like a person.

The talking ChatGPT bot speaks with a warm, feminine voice with a slight rasp and a fairly unsettling level of enthusiasm, resulting in a vocal tone that sounds virtually identical to Johansson’s.

Engineer Mark Chen found himself at the center of a playful exchange when ChatGPT humorously critiqued his deep breaths, quipping, "You’re not a vacuum cleaner." 

Later, prompted to tell a story about robots in love, the AI's response drew further parallels to Spike Jonze's film.

Adding to the intrigue, ChatGPT demonstrated its ability to interact with real-time visuals, responding with endearing remarks to handwritten notes and prompting speculation about the implications of such lifelike interactions.

While OpenAI's CTO, Mira Murati, downplayed suggestions of intentional design, citing the AI's rich personality and tonality, CEO Sam Altman's affinity for 'Her' and his cryptic tweet post-demo only fueled speculation further.


In a blog post, Altman wrote: “the new voice (and video) mode is the best computer interface I’ve ever used. It feels like AI from the movies.”

His declaration of the new voice mode being the best computer interface was followed by a single-word tweet, "her".

Despite assertions that the Johansson-esque voice, dubbed 'Sky', is merely one of several available options, the uncanny resemblance raises questions about the fine line between innovation and imitation in the ever-evolving landscape of AI technology.


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