Is That You, Tom Cruise? Fake Video Of The Actor Goes Viral, Bringing Artificial Intelligence Technology To A Scary New Level
If you think Hollywood legend Tom Cruise is on TikTok casually sharing clips of himself — guess again! Those are deepfake videos posted to the social media platform.
A deepfake video typically involves swapping one person’s face — in this case Cruise's — onto the body of someone else using Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology to match the person’s facial movements and mannerisms.
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A series of videos of the Top Gun star have been viewed more than 11 million times on the now mysteriously private TikTok account @deeptomcruise — with experts deeming them the most alarmingly lifelike examples so far of the high-tech hoax.
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The videos of the fake Cruise emerged last week, starting with one claiming to be the 58-year-old actor practicing his golf swing. “If you like what you’re seeing, just wait ’til what’s coming next,” the fake Cruise says — with the clip ending in an incredibly lifelike impersonation of the actor’s instantly recognizable laugh.
In a second video, the fake version of the Mission: Impossible actor shared an anecdote about his time in Russia. A third video uploaded late last week showed what appeared to be the A-lister performing a magic trick with a coin. “I’m going to show you some magic. It’s the real thing. I mean, uh, it’s all...the real...thing,” the impersonator said, seemingly poking fun at the fact that he is not the real Tom Cruise.
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The deepfake videos are so realistic that they have frightened many on social media about what it could mean for safety. “We need to legally shut down a video that borrows more than a specific percentage of our features,” one user tweeted. “This needs to be a GDPR and CCPA crime, identity theft and has to hit the platform failing to immediately delete it. Tom Cruise has a brand and he can sue for confusion thereof.”
Rachel Tobac, the CEO of online security company SocialProof, tweeted that the videos proved we have reached a stage of almost “undetectable Deepfakes,” adding that "just because you feel you can personally tell the difference between synthetic & authentic media, it doesn’t mean we’re good to go. It matters what the general public believes.”
She continued: “Deepfakes will impact public trust, provide cover & plausible deniability for criminals/abusers caught on video or audio, and will be (and are) used to manipulate, humiliate, & hurt people,” she said adding they had “real world safety, political etc impact for everyone.”