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Shockingly realistic Tom Cruise deepfakes go viral on TikTok

Actor can be seen doing magic and cracking jokes about Gorbachev

Ellie Harrison
Friday 26 February 2021 11:52 GMT
Tom Cruise reprimands Mission: Impossible 7 crew for breaking Covid safety protocols: ‘If I see you do it again, you’re f***ing gone’
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Deepfake videos of Tom Cruise golfing, performing magic tricks and telling jokes about Mikhail Gorbachev have gone viral on TikTok.

The videos, which have been appearing on user @deeptomcruise’s account since 25 February, are some of the most convincing deepfakes out there.

Deepfakes use a form of artificial intelligence called deep learning to make images of fake events. They are a synthetic media in which a person in an existing image or video is replaced with someone else’s likeness, making people appear to have said something they have not.

Read more - Tom Cruise screams at Mission Impossible crew for breaking Covid safety protocols: ‘Don’t you ever f***ing do it again’

Photographer Lauren White commented on the videos. “Deep fakes are getting scary good and taking over TikTok,” she said.

“Every public figure should just be on there with a verified account – even if they don’t want to make content – to make it easier to identify their fakes.”

Deepfakes have increasingly been used to comic effect in recent months. South Park creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone mocked Donald Trump over his election loss with a deepfake last year, showing the former president sulking and reading a story about a reindeer.

And hundreds of complaints were made over a “deepfake” version of the Queen’s speech aired on Christmas Day.

The speech included jokes about the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s move to the US, as well as a nod to the scandal surrounding the Duke of York and his connection to convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein.

Deepfakes were described as the most dangerous form of crime through artificial intelligence in a report from University College London.

“People now conduct large parts of their lives online and their online activity can make and break reputations. Such an online environment, where data is property and information power, is ideally suited for exploitation by AI-based criminal activity”, said Dr Matthew Caldwell who authored the research.

“Unlike many traditional crimes, crimes in the digital realm can be easily shared, repeated, and even sold, allowing criminal techniques to be marketed and for crime to be provided as a service. This means criminals may be able to outsource the more challenging aspects of their AI-based crime.”

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