Open AI to remove voice likened to Scarlett Johansson, GTA6 launch confirmed

Her (2013). Creator: Courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures. Copyright: (c) MMXIII Untitled Rick Howard Company LLC

OpenAI says it will remove one of the voices used by ChatGPT after it was likened to Hollywood actress Scarlett Johansson. Users spotted the similarity in the chatbot’s “Sky” voice option, which reads responses aloud to users, when OpenAI showcased features of its new model. The flirty, conversational upgrade to its AI chatbot drew comparisons to the 2013 film Her, starring the actress. Set in the near-future, the films sees Joaquin Phoenix fall in love with his phone’s operating system, which is voiced by Ms Johansson. BBC

One of the most eagerly anticipated video game releases of recent times – the sixth edition of the Grand Theft Auto franchise – will take place in autumn 2025, its publisher says. Take-Two Interactive, parent company of developer Rockstar Games, made the announcement during its latest earnings call. Interest in GTA 6 is huge: the trailer for it has had more than 190m views on YouTube since it was released by Rockstar in December after being leaked online. Gaming industry analyst Piers Harding-Rolls told the BBC the long development time meant it was set to come to market “as the most expensive game ever made”. BBC 

Google announced this week that it would begin the international rollout of its new artificial intelligence-powered search feature, called AI Overviews. When billions of people search a range of topics from news to recipes to general knowledge questions, what they see first will now be an AI-generated summary. Google touted AI Overviews at its annual I/O developer conference as a way of delivering customers quick answers and simplifying the online search experience as well as keeping users, and advertisers, on The Guardian

The device sends an electrical current to the spinal cord. Pic: Medical N.V.

A device that sends an electrical “buzz” through the skin could allow people who were paralysed several decades ago to regain movement in their arms and hands. The ARC-EX device sends an electrical current to the spinal cord through surface electrodes, increasing strength, sensation and ability to move in people with paraplegia. Volunteers who took part in the first clinical trial of its kind say the effects were astonishing. Sky News 

WhatsApp, Meta’s instant-messaging app, is set to introduce a feature on linked devices that will enable users to protect their chats from other people. According to a recent report by WABetaInfo, WhatsApp is rolling out its Chat Lock feature on linked devices. This feature, which allows users to lock and hide their chats behind a passcode or biometric authentication, was initially limited to primary devices. However, according to the report, the Chat Lock feature appears to be available to users using WhatsApp for Android (version, rather than just a select few users. GeoNews

BT has delayed plans to make customers switch from analogue copper-based landlines to digital-based VoIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol) services following concerns from vulnerable people. The switch was paused at the end of last year after several incidents where telecare devices stopped working. Nearly two million people in the UK use personal alarms which rely on landlines. BT has now abandoned the timeline of completing the national switchover by the end of 2025, and will instead aim to complete the move by the end of January 2027. Tech Digest 

Chris Price