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Scarlett Johansson's OpenAI feud reignites Hollywood's fear of artificial intelligence

Scarlett Johansson's OpenAI feud reignites Hollywood's fear of artificial intelligence

 


LOS ANGELES' OpenAI's apparent homage to the film “Her,” featuring the voice of Scarlett Johansson, is fueling a backlash against artificial intelligence in Hollywood, executives told Reuters.

Johansson's accusation that the ChatGPT director copied her performance in the Spike Jonze-directed feature, after failing to reach a deal, has reignited the creative class's anxiety over the existential threat posed by the AI, even as Hollywood studios test new tools and consider alliances with OpenAI.

“It seemed to strike a real chord,” one industry executive said. “It kind of gives it a human face. There's a well-known tech company that did something to a person we know.”

OpenAI stunned the world in February with feature-film-like quality videos generated by its text-to-video conversion tool, Sora. Since then, Hollywood executives and agents have met with the company several times to discuss potential creative partnerships and applications of the technology, according to industry agents and executives.

Johansson's criticism of OpenAI for using a sultry voice that she called “eerily similar” to her performance during her public demonstrations of the latest version of ChatGPT irks some entertainment executives, amid discussions aimed at to work more closely on projects, people with direct knowledge told Reuters.

“This certainly does not establish a respectful collaboration between content creators and tech giants,” a studio executive said, calling OpenAI’s actions “hubris.”

“Not Scarlett Johansson”

OpenAI CEO Sam Altman said in a statement Monday that the voice “is not Scarlett Johansson's, and it was never intended to sound like hers. We cast the voice actor behind the voice of Sky before contacting Ms Johansson”.

The company, whose largest investor is Microsoft, did not respond to requests for comment on its dealings with Hollywood after the dispute.

Even before the latest dispute, agents and executives who spoke with Reuters on condition of anonymity said for weeks that they were concerned that OpenAI's models appeared to have been trained on works protected by the copyright, which the tech company considers fair use because they are publicly available. on the Internet. This is seen as a major obstacle by some professional directors and filmmakers, who may be reluctant to use a tool built, without consent, on the work of others.

But entertainment industry technologists see Sora as a promising potential tool to augment the process of making movies and TV shows. They see near-term applications for technology to accelerate the pace of digital effects.

Fox already uses OpenAI's ChatGPT to recommend new TV shows and movies to viewers of its Tubi streaming service.

Although OpenAI has said it wants to protect copyright by blocking the ability to generate videos featuring well-known characters like Superman or A-list actors like Jennifer Aniston, concerns remain about how it will protect copyright. lesser known artists.

Lost voice

Johansson's conflict with OpenAI opens a new front in the battle between the content industry and the AI ​​leader. Johansson has reason to argue that OpenAI violated his right of publicity, which gives a person the right to control the commercial use of his or her name, image or likeness, according to John Yanchunis, a partner at the firm. Morgan & Morgan lawyers.

Singer Bette Midler used California law to reclaim her own voice in a case that legal experts consider setting a precedent. She successfully sued Ford's advertising agency, Young & Rubicam, for hiring a former backup singer to imitate her rendition of “Do You Want to Dance?” in a car commercial after rejecting an offer to perform the song. The case, filed in 1987, went to the Supreme Court, which upheld his right to publicity. Tom Waits won a similar lawsuit in 1988 against Frito-Lay over an advertisement featuring a performance imitating Waits' low-pitched singing style.

“In both of these cases, people who looked similar were performing songs that the singers had made famous, so people were likely to assume that it was the artists who were singing and who had endorsed the products,” said Mark Lemley, director of the Stanford program in Law, Science and Technology.

The Johansson case is less clear-cut than previous cases, although efforts to imitate Johansson's voice in “Elle,” as well as Altman's repeated efforts to hire her and a tweet of his referring to the film, constitute “a pretty strong argument in favor of Johansson,” Lemley said.

Jeffrey Bennett, general counsel for the artists union SAG-AFTRA, who was instrumental in establishing the right of publicity in California and elsewhere in the country, has pushed for a federal right to voice and image similar to federal copyright protections.

“We’re excited that there’s now this broad dialogue about this,” Bennett said. “We've been trying to use the bullhorn and call it out for a while now. We've been talking about the proliferation of deep fakes and now it's going to start affecting everyone. Now it's really a conversation There must be a federal solution.

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