If you haven't heard about the popular TikTok channel called "DeepTomCruise" by now, you certainly should familiarize yourself with it. Not because it has anything to do with Tom Cruise, but because of the technology being used to create the videos.

TikTok Fake Tom Cruise

The TikTok fake Tom Cruise videos have fooled countless people online and have racked up millions of views, with many people never realizing Tom Cruise isn't actually in any of the videos.

KREM 2 News Via YouTube
KREM 2 News Via YouTube

The videos are made using artificial intelligence to create "hyper-realistic video and audio recordings that use artificial intelligence and 'deep' learning to create 'fake' content or 'deepfakes'" says CBSNews.com.

This sort of media is commonly referred to as "Synthetic Media" and "Deepfakes".

The creator behind the "DeepTomCruise" TikTok channel, Chris Umé, tells 60 Minutes he also uses a Tom Cruise impersonator for the voice and physical body movements.

Using A.I. technology and a pretty good celebrity impersonator, visual effects artist Chris Umé can make Tom Cruise say and do anything he wants him to.

The possibilities are pretty incredible and exciting to think about. Our favorite bands, singers, and movie stars can now entertain infinitely. A musician like Elvis could be brought back to life and theoretically being releasing music and releasing movies again.

Sure, we've all seen the holographic technology that brings artists "back to life" to perform "live" concerts, but the A.I. being used for the fake Tom Cruise videos is so realistic you seriously can't tell it's not real.

 

The fact you can't tell if it's real or fake is what's terrifying, and the technology is only getting better and more available every day.

Nina Schick tells Yahoo -

By five to seven years, we are basically looking at a trajectory where any single creator, so, a YouTuber, a TikToker, will be able to create the same level of visual effects that is only accessible to the most well-resourced Hollywood studio today.

 

Right now you're probably thinking about how out-of-hand and dangerous this can potentially be, and you should be.

By and large, most people are unaware of deepfake technology or how realistic it is even at this point. Imagine someone using this technology to create videos making someone of power, say the U.S. President, say incredibly dangerous things.

Yahoo reports that at this point, most deepfakes are protected free speech, so there's not much that can be done about it legally as long as the subject matter isn't deemed  as defamation of character by the person being "faked".

This past Sunday (10/10/21) 60 minutes did a story about all of this, and you can read more at CBSNews.com.

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