Tom Hanks blasts AI version of himself selling dental plan

Tom Hanks wants fans to know that that is an AI version of the Oscar-winning actor selling a dental plan, not the real deal.

Tom Hanks AI

Zero out of one Tom Hanks recommends this toothpaste brand. Tom Hanks is defending his image — literally — by speaking out against an ad that used his likeness through AI to sell a dental plan.

Tom Hanks took to social media over the weekend to plead with fans not to believe his “involvement” in the dental plan video. “BEWARE!! There’s a video out there promoting some dental plan with an AI version of me. I have nothing to do with it.” While this is clearly a younger version of Tom Hanks and those familiar with catching hiccups in the AI universe could easily spot the errors and general artificiality of the images – the dead eyes no doubt call to mind The Polar Express – his statement does point to a distrust not just with companies using actors’ likenesses but the general audience to fall for it.

Tom Hanks has shown concern over AI before, saying earlier this year, “We saw this coming…We saw that there was going to be this ability to take zeros and ones inside a computer and turn it into a face and a character. Now that has only grown a billion-fold since then, and we see it everywhere…I could be hit by a bus tomorrow, and that’s it, but performances can go on and on and on and on…Outside the understanding of AI and 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.”

But it’s not as if Tom Hanks is entirely against the use of AI. He and Robin Wright will both be digitally de-aged using such technology for Robert Zemeckis’ forthcoming Here.

While the Writers Guild of America strike ended late last month, the SAG-AFTRA strike is still going on. In both, artificial intelligence has been a major talking point, with the AMPTP saying they had a goal to “protect performers’ digital likenesses”, although this essentially boiled down to studios being able to use an artists’ likeness repeatedly without proper compensation. And that’s essentially what has happened with the AI use of Tom Hanks. But at least give the guy a free cleaning…

How do you feel about this use of artificial intelligence? Do you think targeting Tom Hanks will bring a reckoning to the use of AI in media? Give us your take in the comments section below.

Source: The Hollywood Reporter

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Mathew is an East Coast-based writer and film aficionado who has been working with periodically since 2006. When he’s not writing, you can find him on Letterboxd or at a local brewery. If he had the time, he would host the most exhaustive The Wonder Years rewatch podcast in the universe.