BELLAthorn deepfake : Tom Cruise deepfake creator has spoken out and warns of the risks the technology poses

Tom Cruise deepfake creator has spoken out and warns of the risks the technology poses

Miles Fisher, Tom Cruise are posing for a picture: Miles Fisher (L) next to deepfake version of Tom Cruise (R)

© Provided by The Telegraph Miles Fisher (L) next to deepfake version of Tom Cruise (R)

The Tom Cruise deepfake video creator has spoken out and has called for better regulation of the potentially pernicious technology online.

Videos of Tom Cruise on the popular video sharing platform TikTok have been going viral recently, depicting the famous actor playing golf and joking with viewers.

However, the videos are not showing the real Tom Cruise, rather, they are highly realistic and computer-generated “deepfakes”.

Chris Ume, a 31-year-old visual artist, has been creating these videos impersonating the Mission Impossible actor with the help of a Tom Cruise imitator and artificial intelligence.

The Belgian, who is considered as one of the world’s best at creating high-quality deepfake videos, teamed up with Tom Cruise impersonator Miles Fisher to create the convincing hoax.

After hiding behind the TikTok account name of “@deepfakecruise”, Mr Ume has decided to speak out about the potential dangers of this emerging technology.

“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,” Mr Ume said.

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He added: “I think there should be laws that help with the responsible use of AI and deepfakes, that’s important. There’s always going to be misuse of this technology, you can’t avoid that.”

Deepfake video creation, which first emerged in 2017, uses machine learning, digital software and face swapping to create artificial videos that depict events or action that never actually took place.

Presently there are no specific laws in place around the use or creation of deepfake videos in the UK or EU.

Mr Ume said that more government support should be provided for deepfake recognition tools, which he suggests could be developed with help of experts such as himself.

However, despite the potential dangers of the technology, it is no easy feat to engineer a convincing deepfake.

Mr Ume said the three 30-second clips of Cruise took him nearly three months to produce, involving him finding and feeding his computer more than 20,000 images of Cruise’s face from different angles and under different lighting conditions.

a close up of Tom Cruise et al. looking at the camera: Deep Fake Tik Tok videos, produced by Chris Ume

© Provided by The Telegraph Deep Fake Tik Tok videos, produced by Chris Ume

The video does not breach TikTok’s policies, and therefore has not been taken down.

Similar technology has recently been applied to animating old pictures in a new service called Deep Nostalgia, which serves as another example of AI image and video manipulation. 

Actor Sir Ian McKellen recently took to Twitter to describe how he used to app to bring Oscar Wilde to life: “Haven’t we always wanted to come face to face with Oscar Wilde? Now we can and see him blink!”

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