Hollywood actor Tom Hanks has fallen victim to AI trickery after a dental ad featured an AI version of himself without his consent, forcing him to warn his fans about the video.
The video ad has come out at a time when Hollywood actors are still on strike, citing among their grievances the use of AI in the film industry.
For Tom Hanks, this has come on the heels of his recent concerns over the increased use of AI technology and deepfakes in the creative industry.
He has previously expressed concerns over the technology’s ability to recreate actors, even after they are dead, or to de-age them, like making the 67-year-old actor “32-year-old from now until kingdom come.”
In an Instagram post, Tom Hanks warned his fans of a video circulating online showing him promoting a dental plan. But it’s not him on the video; it’s an AI-generated version of the Forest Gump actor. He told his fans he took no part in the production of the dental ad, as he did not consent to it.
“BEWARE!! There’s a video out there promoting some dental plans with an AI version of me. I have nothing to do with it.”
This development comes after there have been concerns about the use of one’s likeness in generating content using AI without their consent and proper compensation.
These concerns are also shared by Robin Williams’ daughter Zelda, who spoke against the technology after a recreation of her father’s voice using AI.
According to The Guardian, Tom Hanks has previously spoken out against the use of AI in film and television. In a May appearance on “The Adam Buxton Podcast,” the star highlighted the challenges caused by the technology in the industry.
“I can tell you that there [are] discussions going on in all of the guilds, all of the agencies, and all of the legal firms to come up with the legal ramifications of my face and my voice—and everybody else’s—being our intellectual property,” he said.
The AI conflict
As AI continues to gain traction in the creative industry, it has also divided opinion among the various stakeholders in the sector. Recently, the Writers Guild of America (WGA) was up in arms with Hollywood studios over several grievances, among them the use of AI.
Although the strike ended after reaching an agreement, the actors who also joined the writers in protests are still yet to find common ground with Hollywood studios, who proposed the use of AI to generate movie extras, among other contentious issues.
Hanks has expressed concerns about generative AI’s ability to produce lifelike quality, making it difficult to distinguish between AI performances and original work. This means that with AI, actors could continue “acting” when they are already dead or retired by the technology.
“I could be hit by a bus tomorrow, and that’s it, but performances can go on and on and on and on,” said Tom Hanks.
“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.”
Hanks has been involved in films in which he has been digitally altered but with his consent, like the forthcoming “Here,” as well as in “A Man Called Otto,” released early this year, in which he was de-aged using CGI, which is used in movies to portray a younger version of an actor or actress.