Deepfake Tom Hanks

Tom Hanks Warns of Deepfake Hanks Dental Ad


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A post shared by Tom Hanks (@tomhanks)

Tom Hanks took to Instagram over the weekend to alert fans about a deepfake video of himself on social media. The AI-generated Hanks, seen above in the image shared by the actor, appears to be promoting a dental plan (though likely a scam of some sort), marking the most high-profile example yet of synthetic media used deceptively to mimic a celebrity promoting a product.

AI Generates Hanks Fakes

“BEWARE!! There’s a video out there promoting some dental plan with an AI version of me. I have nothing to do with it,” Hanks wrote on Instagram next to a still of his digital likeness.

The unauthorized dental ad highlights potential nefarious uses of deepfakes to deceive people or falsely associate with brands. Hanks isn’t the first famous face faked for fraudulent favors. A deepfake video of trusted British consumer advice guide Martin Lewis attempting to trick people into sending money for a scam investment provoked outrage from Lewis over how the AI could mislead people who trust him. The scam advertisement was also backed by a similarly deepfake Elon Musk. Deepfakes and their use are at the center of many debates over generative AI.

The issue is starting to come up in courts, as when Indian actor Anil Kapoor won in court against the unauthorized creation and use of AI imitations of his likeness against 16 defendants barring them from exploiting the Bollywood star’s name, his likeness, or other aspects of his identity for commercial gain without permission. And Google recently changed its rules for political ads so that any synthetic media has to be marked as such. Still, at this point, there’s evidence that shows how far synthetic media produced by generative AI has advanced and how it is becoming more widely used for both benign and destructive work.

Synthetic Star

That doesn’t preclude authorized use of deepfaks or synthetic media, of course. Hanks approved the AI-powered youthening of himself by Metaphysic for the Robert Zemickis-directed film Here. The Miramax movie will be the first demonstration of the company’s new Metaphysic Live product, which performs real-time hyperreal face alterations like de-aging and removes the need to do post-production VFX editing to achieve those effects. Proof that synthetically generated songs with celebrity voices can rack up millions of listens has led to discussions for creating legal channels for deepfake music and movies, though extensive regulation on a national and international level may be necessary to reduce the need for more warnings like Hanks’.


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