The creator of viral deepfake videos on Tik Tok that falsely depict Tom Cruise practicing his golf swing and other tricks has apologised.
Tom Cruise can be pretty scary at the best of times. Last year he had a meltdown on the Mission Impossible 7 set, after he pointed out that crew were not adhering to proper COVID-19 procedures. Fair, but no need to scream like it’s Jerry Maguire and you want someone to “show me the money!”
Real life Cruise is scary enough, but now that a series of viral videos from Tik Tok creator and Belgian visual arts Christopher Ume have been doing the rounds, users are worried.
The videos are deepfakes, or ICYMI, videos that are edited to replace the person in the original video with someone else (especially a public figure), but done in a way that makes the video look just like the real thing.
That might be funny if it’s your friend’s birthday and you want to mash their head onto someone else, but in age where it’s hard to tell what’s real and what’s not, that’s gotta be concerning. Deep fake and fake news, anyone?
In the Tik Tok Video below, Ume starts off by doing a magic trick with Cruise’s head, and assures us, it’s the “real thing.” As Tik Tok user Schayan Riaz tells us, “I am genuinely scared by this Tom Cruise deepfake. It’s brilliant but terrifying.”
I am genuinely scared by this Tom Cruise deepfake. It‘s brilliant but it‘s terrifying. pic.twitter.com/tFVr9DmcBs
— Schayan Riaz (@schayan_r) February 28, 2021
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In another clip, deepfake Tom Cruise asks us if “it’s cool if he plays some sports,” and practises his golf swing.
Ume, who worked in collaboration with Tom Cruise impersonator Miles Fisher, explained why he created the videos.
“I’d like to show people the technical possibilities of these things. I don’t intend to use it in any way where I would upset people – I just want to show them what’s possible in a few years,” he told the Guardian.
He goes on further to say that by 2025, it might even be the next Snapchat filter. Yikes, get rid of those dog ears…
“I just strongly think that there should be laws to help with the responsible use of AI and deepfakes,” Ume said.
That’s one way to highlight the issue, but surely Tik Tokers would be suspicious of Cruise “joining” the platform to begin with?