As tech evolves and becomes more accessible, the rise in fake celebrity AI videos, images, and other unauthorised content is significant. This latest example is a classic case of life imitating art.
Film icon, Tom Hanks, has taken to Instagram to denounce an ad for a dental plan that used an AI version of his image and voice to endorse the service.
“BEWARE!! There’s a video out there promoting some dental plan with an AI version of me. I have nothing to do with it,” he wrote over a screenshot of himself taken from the ad.
Fans of the two-time Oscar winner will appreciate the irony.
Famously, Hanks’ face was digitally altered for the 2004 Christmas musical fantasy movie, The Polar Express. In fact, the box-office hit was the first film to be created entirely using motion-capture technology.
The Saving Private Ryan star was also digitally de-aged in scenes from the 2022 film, A Man Called Otto.
And he’s previously dealt with scammers in character mode – in this case, the old-school variety – as evidenced by his role as FBI agent, Carl Hanratty, in the 2002 biographical crime comedy-drama, Catch Me If You Can.
Concern Over AI Use
Hanks, who cut his teeth in the acting world with a minor role in the 1980 horror flick, He Knows You’re Alone, has previously voiced his concerns about the use of AI in the film and TV industries.
While appearing as a guest on The Adam Buxton Podcast in April this year, Hanks told the British comedian that AI’s influence in Hollywood knows no bounds.
“Right now if I wanted to, I could get together and pitch a series of seven movies that would star me in them in which I would be 32 years old from now until kingdom come,” he said.
“Anybody can now recreate themselves at any age they are by way of AI or deepfake technology.”
Hanks suggested that thanks to AI, a fake version of himself could continue to act well after he passes.
“I could be hit by a bus tomorrow, and that’s it, but performances can go on and on and on and on,” he said.
“And outside of the understanding that it’s been done with AI or deepfake, there’ll be nothing to tell you that it’s not me and me alone.
“And it’s going to have some degree of lifelike quality. That’s certainly an artistic challenge, but it’s also a legal one.”
Celebrity AI Video Trend
Of course, Hanks is far from the first famous face to fall victim to unauthorised AI-influenced tech.
For one, artificially manipulated content has appeared all over TikTok – so much so that in March this year, the social media platform announced a tightening of restrictions relating to the posting of deepfake videos.
Yet we can clearly expect that the trend of fake celebrity AI videos and other material circulating online will continue for some time – dental ads or otherwise – despite the fact they strike a nerve with celebrities and other prominent figures.
As Forrest Gump would say: It happens.
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