It’s been quite the week for the team at OpenAI. Their highly anticipated ChatGPT-4o model made a big debut last week on Monday, but it’s the flirty-sounding voice of the AI assistant that’s got people talking.

The voice, nicknamed “Sky,” was prominently featured during the big unveiling. However, it was surprising how much it sounded like Scarlett Johansson’s character in the movie “Her.” Even OpenAI’s own CEO, Sam Altman, seemingly couldn’t help but make the connection, tweeting a simple “her” after the presentation.

But the comparisons didn’t stop there. “You can really tell that a man built this tech,” joked Daily Show host Desi Lydic. “She’s like, ‘I have all the information in the world, but I don’t know anything.'” Ouch.

Turns out, the voice wasn’t actually Johansson’s and it belonged to a different actress. But the similarities were just too strong to ignore. And less than a week later, OpenAI decided to remove the Sky voice option altogether.

The timing of this whole debacle is also pretty interesting. Several top members of OpenAI’s safety team have resigned in recent days, with one researcher saying the company is prioritizing “shiny products” over safety.

Of course, OpenAI is insisting they’d never release anything unsafe. And they’re emphasizing their work with entertainment industry pros and fair compensation for voice actors.

At the end of the day, it’s a complex issue. AI is advancing at lightning speed, and companies are trying to make their products as human-like as possible.

But where do we draw the line when it comes to things like likenesses to real people and gendered stereotypes? It’s a conversation we’re just gonna have to keep having.

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