Actor Tom Hanks is warning people that a new dental advertisement doesn’t actually feature him. It’s just his likeness, which was produced by artificial intelligence.
On Sunday, Hanks posted a picture of himself on Instagram and added the caption:
“BEWARE!! There’s a video out there promoting some dental plan with an AI version of me. I have nothing to do with it.”
Hanks said that he didn’t act for the commercial, and that the images of him were generated by a computer that used AI.
This latest development speaks directly to the point that many famous actors in the film and television industries are openly speaking about as part of the ongoing strike being carried out by the SAG-AFTRA union. They have warned that AI could easily be used to completely replace human actors – without giving them any compensation whatsoever.
Hanks has actually been talking about this exact issue for a while now. In fact, he appeared on The Adam Buxton Podcast back in May, saying that artificial intelligence technology poses both “an artistic challenge” as well as “a legal one.” On the podcast, he said:
“This is something that is literally part and parcel to what’s going on in the realm of intellectual property rights right now. THis has always been lingering.”
“Right now, if I wanted to, I could get together and pitch a series of seven movies that would star me in them, in which I would be 32 years old, from now until kingdom come. Anybody can now recreate themselves at any age they are, by way of AI or deepfake technology.
“I could be hit by a bus tomorrow and that’s it. But, my performances can go on and on and on and on, and outside of the understanding that has been done with AI or deepfake. There’ll be nothing to tell you that it’s not me and me alone.”
The writers and actors who are part of the unions that started their strike a few months ago have made the usage of artificial intelligence in various forms of media one of their top contention points as they continue to fight for better contracts with the Hollywood studios.
The writer’s strike ended late last month, and when it did, the Writers Guild of America announced that a deal had been reached that included provisions about how AI technology could be used in all productions. This is part of the new collective bargaining agreement that was struck between the union and the studios.
RIght before the actors strike began back in the spring, Hanks actually discussed the entire situation with “CBS Sunday Mornings” At the time, he said:
“The entire industry is at a crossroads, and everybody knows it. … The financial motor has to be completely redefined” so that creators of the content can benefit instead of just the studios alone.