Tom Hanks calls out AI version of him made without his permission: ‘Beware!’

‘BEWARE,’ unsettled actor wrote while sharing a photo of his AI-generated likeness

Jacob Stolworthy
Monday 02 October 2023 16:29 BST
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Baz Luhrmann's Elvis trailer

Tom Hanks has issued a striking declaration after being left unsettled by his own appearance in a new advert.

The actor’s fans might have been surprised to see the Forrest Gump and Saving Private Ryan star show up in a video promoting a new dental plan – but no one was more shocked than Hanks himself, considering he had no involvement with its creation.

On Saturday (1 October), Hanks, 67, warned that the promotional clip currently doing the rounds was created using artifical intelligence, telling his fans that he had “nothing to do with it”.

Sharing a photo of the AI version of himself on Instagram, Hanks captioned the post: “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 the Elvis actor did not give his permission for his likeness to be used in the video, he will get the AI treatment in a new project from his Polar Express and Cast Away director Robert Zemeckis.

In January, it was announced that Hanks had been cast alongside Robin Wright in the director’s new project Here, which takes place entirely within the confines of a single room, and follows its occupants over many years.

It was reported by The Hollywood Reporter at the time that artificial intelligence company Metaphysic, known for its work on deepfakes, would be used “extensively” to de-age both Hanks and Wright. Zemeckis said in a statament: “I’ve always been attracted to technology that helps me to tell a story.

“With Here, the film simply wouldn’t work without our actors seamlessly transforming into younger versions of themselves. Metaphysic’s AI tools do exactly that, in ways that were previously impossible.”

However, the usgae of AI in Hollywood productions is one of the reasons actors are currently on strike, with many concerned they will lose jobs to AI-created versions of themselves used without their permission.

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Robin Williams’s daughter Zelda has criticised the use of artificial intelligence to recreate the sound of her late father’s voice.

AI Tom Hanks in a new promotional video

She stated: “This isn’t theoretical, it is very very real. I’ve already heard AI used to get his ‘voice’ to say whatever people want and while I find it personally disturbing, the ramifications go far beyond my own feelings.”

Writers were also participating in a simultaneous strike with the actors, but at the end of September, the Writers Guild of America announced that they had reached a major development and struck a deal with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers – the group that represents studios, streaming services and producers in negotiations.

However, the actors’ strike is contuining, with SAG-AFTRA set to resume talks with the studios this week.

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