In a recent Instagram post, renowned actor Tom Hanks raised concerns about an advertisement featuring an AI-generated version of himself endorsing a dental plan. The actor vehemently denied any association with the AI-created video, emphasizing his lack of involvement in the promotional campaign.
Hanks, a prominent figure in the entertainment industry, has previously expressed his thoughts on the challenges posed by artificial intelligence in the world of acting. The rise of AI technology has led to the creation of increasingly realistic deepfakes, raising ethical and legal concerns. Notably, several celebrities, including financial expert Martin Lewis, have fallen victim to deepfake scams, prompting the government in England and Wales to enforce stricter laws against offenders, especially in cases related to revenge pornography.
The issue of deepfake technology isn’t limited to individual scams; it has also exacerbated the problem of online misinformation. Public figures such as former US President Donald Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky have been targeted by AI-generated fake videos, contributing to the spread of misinformation and fake news.
To address this growing problem, major tech companies like Google have taken steps to tackle the issue head-on. Google, for instance, announced a policy requiring political advertisements on its platform to disclose whether they were created using AI technology, aiming to increase transparency and combat the dissemination of deceptive content.
Despite the negative implications of deepfakes, there are also non-controversial applications of AI video manipulation. One notable example is the use of AI in virtual concerts, where legendary bands like Abba have employed cutting-edge technology to stage groundbreaking virtual performances, showcasing the positive potential of AI in the entertainment industry.
Hanks, in a discussion on the Adam Buxton podcast, acknowledged the inevitability of AI’s impact on the entertainment landscape. He highlighted the remarkable ability of AI to recreate characters and faces from mere digital data, enabling performances to continue even if an actor is no longer available. This capability, while revolutionary, has stirred fears among industry professionals about potential job displacement, triggering a series of strikes within Hollywood.
These concerns have led to significant disruptions in the industry, affecting popular shows like “Stranger Things” and “The Last of Us.” The Writers Guild of America (WGA), representing screenwriters, recently reached a tentative agreement with studio executives to resolve their industrial action. However, a separate dispute involving actors, partly driven by anxieties about AI technology leading to reduced acting opportunities, remains unresolved, underscoring the industry’s ongoing challenges in adapting to the digital age.
the rise of AI technology, particularly in the form of deepfakes, has sparked a complex and multifaceted debate within the entertainment industry. While these advancements offer innovative opportunities, they also pose significant ethical and practical dilemmas, shaping the future landscape of acting and artistic expression.