AI voice cloning could be a problem for other celebrities, not just Scarlett Johansson

The top row or line

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OpenAI could face a potential lawsuit from actress Scarlett Johansson after she claimed that the ChatGPT maker's now-drawn chatbot voice is too similar to Skye herself, artificial. The latest legal issue raised by intelligence that experts told Forbes could easily affect anyone now that technology has made voice cloning easier. .

Key facts

Experts told Forbes that the legal issues at stake in Johansson's row with OpenAI are neither unique to AI nor particularly modern, dating back to 1980s lawsuits filed by singers against Ford and Frito-Lay. Bette Midler and Tom Waits point to similarities between successful voice impersonations and “voice” lawsuits. .

Johansen could potentially bring a number of claims against OpenAI under existing laws, Foley & Lardner partner Jeffrey Green and his colleague Erin Jabri explained in an email, including right to privacy, copyright, falsification. Includes the right of endorsement and publicity, which protects individuals from it. Using them without their permission to identify features such as their name or likeness is especially strong in California.

While potentially illegal, that means it's entirely possible that “other celebrities could potentially be targeted,” Green and Jabri said, if so, they could be targeted like Johansson. or will face similar problems.

Advances in technology have allowed features such as sounds to be imitated with greater ease and accuracy, further exacerbating the imitation problem, however, and Tiffany Lee, a law professor at the University of San Francisco, said. The problem extends beyond Hollywood.

“Anyone can be targeted by other people trying to clone their voices using AI…not just celebrities” or public figures, Lee warned, citing the proliferation of AI phone scams. pointing to those who clone people's voices as a good example and urging lawmakers to ensure laws “Updated to keep pace with modern technology.”

Green and Jabari said Johansen's case “highlights the growing need to establish clear rules governing the use of an individual's voice, image, and other personal or identifiable information,” which until now ” are hindered by being fragmented or state-specific.

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News peg

On Monday, ChatGPT pulled its chatbot voice, Sky, after concerns it sounded like Johansson. The actress, who said she was “amazed” by the AI ​​voice assistant, claims that Skye sounded so similar to her own voice that even close friends believed it was her. Members of the public also reached out extensively, and Johansson says OpenAI contacted her twice, unsuccessfully, asking her to voice Assistant. Sam Altman, CEO and cofounder of OpenAI, has previously said that “It” is one of his favorite movies and secretly “It” on X after the ChatGPT update and voices were revealed. Tweeted. Johansson lent her voice to the role of a virtual assistant in the film. OpenAI itself has acknowledged the vocal similarity between Skye and Johansson, but stressed that the voice “is not an imitation” and belongs to “a different professional actress who uses her natural speaking voice.” uses”, with no unintentional similarities.

How Strong Is Scarlett Johansson's Case Against OpenAI?

Experts told Forbes that there are many open questions in the case and the outcome of a potential lawsuit — one that hasn't been filed — will largely depend on a good deal of information that is still available, public or verified. do not have. Stanford law professor Mark Laemmli told Forbes Johansson appeared to have a “very strong case” under the right of publicity against OpenAI, which “not only Johansson, but AI voice from 'his.' Citing their repeated attempts to replicate Johansson and Altman's tweet specifically referring to 'Her', Green and Jabari stressed that though any result Application will depend on the court's interpretation of the legal principles and facts, OpenAI's opinion points out, indicating some kind of relationship between Skye and Johansson is tailored.”

Important quote

“I think it's important to note that this is something that can happen to anyone, but not everyone has the power and resources of a famous celebrity to legally fight,” Lee said. said “That's why we need legal protections — to protect the rest of our people.”

What to watch for?

Laemmli said he doesn't believe new laws are needed to protect people from imitation in cases like this. “I think the current laws make it illegal, so I'm not sure we need a new law,” he said. However, Laemmli said Congress is “actively considering a federal right to such publicity in California to address this issue.” Looking ahead, he said cases like this are “just the beginning of the legal issues surrounding SoundLikes in AI,” referring to songs by Drake or The Weeknd.

Forbes Assessment

Altman's estimated net worth is $1 billion. His fortune comes not from OpenAI – he has no equity in the company – but instead from a series of high-value investments, including stakes in fintech Stripe, social media platform Reddit and nuclear fusion venture Helion. Prior to OpenAI, Altman founded the social mapping company Loopt and served as a partner and president at the storied startup accelerator Y Combinator.

Further reading

ForbesData Activist Targets OpenAI in Challenge of ChatGPT's 'Hallucination' ProblemForbesOpenAI says it's pulling a chat GPT voice 'Sky' that sounds like Scarlett Johansson.ForbesSam Altman apologizes to Scarlett Johansson over OpenAI chatbot voice that sounded 'really similar' to herForbesMeta's AI Chief: AI models like ChatGPT will never reach human intelligence.

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