Hollywood star Tom Hanks addressed an artificial intelligence version of himself promoting a dental plan on Instagram. He clarified that he has no involvement with the AI likeness. Hanks shared a photo of the AI likeness, but it is unclear if it came from the dental plan ad. CNN has not independently verified the content of the dental plan ad and has reached out to Hanks’ representatives for comment. The use of AI to create virtual actors has become a hot topic in Hollywood, with concerns about the potential elimination of acting jobs. Hanks previously discussed the consequences of AI in the acting industry, including the protection of actors’ likenesses as intellectual property. He also mentioned the possibility of continuing to appear in movies after his death through AI technology. While Hanks acknowledged that an AI version of himself would not be able to replicate his performances, he questioned whether audiences would care. Hanks noted that his likeness and movements were recorded for the movie “The Polar Express,” making the task of creating an AI version of him easier. He expressed that the ability to turn computer data into a face and character has grown significantly since then.
Tom Hanks has taken to Twitter to address the unauthorized use of a video of him endorsing a dental plan. A company had used a “deepfake” AI version of him to appear as if the actor himself had given the endorsement.
“This is NOT me!!” Hanks tweeted. “We are looking into taking action.”
The video featured a digitally-generated version of Hanks, encouraging people to purchase the dental plan. The company behind the video later released a statement saying they had used AI technology to create the video, and that they made “every effort” to ensure it was clear the video was not of the actual actor.
The incident sparked worldwide outrage, with the Twitter community strongly condemning the firm. This came as no surprise, given that the use of “deepfake” videos, those created and manipulated using AI technology, to mislead the public is increasingly common.
By blurring the lines between reality and fiction, and creating videos so realistic it is hard to tell them from the real thing, deepfakes can have a damaging effect on people’s trust in both the media and celebrities.
The episode involving Tom Hanks was another example of the power of deepfakes to mislead people. In this case, the company behind the video eventually admitted their mistake and apologized to the actor and his fans for causing any confusion.
However, given the risks connected to deepfakes as outlined above, this incident serves as an important reminder that extra effort must be taken to ensure against this kind of misuse of technology. With steps like additional disclaimers or labels to alert people to the use of such technology, it is possible to put safeguards in place to protect against potential abuse.