An account on TikTok called “Deep Tom Cruise” features a man using deepfake technology to put an image of Tom Cruise’s face over his own. This tech is so precise and realistic that millions of users (including myself) initially believed that the 58 year old superstar had really joined TikTok.
“It’s all a real thing” “Tom” says into the camera.
As of now there are 3 videos. In one “Tom” enthusiastically plays golf. In another he gives an erratic speech about former Russian president Mikhael Gorbechov. And finally a wild speech while doing a magic trick into camera.
Deepfakes became popular in 2017 as a tool to recreate politicians and celebrities faces on other bodies seamlessly for online videos. Deepfakes utilize machine learning. This tech takes hours of real video footage and images of a person to form an understanding of what that person looks like from different angles and under various lights. The result is almost perfect. And that’s pretty dangerous…
While these videos are entertaining and are all meant in good fun, we live in an age where news travels at the speed of light. We form impressions and opinions off of a short video or headline, many times every single day. If a video can be manipulated to resemble someone else…so easily…misinformation could spread at even greater rates hurting society more than it already has.
The dilemma? These videos are hilarious. See for yourself as Bill Hader transforms into Al Pacino.
As of now the fake Tom Cruise profile on Tik Tok has over 10 million views and hundreds of thousands of followers.