Three days ago, a TikTok account going by @deeptomcruise began posting video clips of the Hollywood actor Tom Cruise doing everything from golfing, to tripping and telling a joke in what appears to be a men's clothing store in Italy, to performing a magic trick with a coin. In each of the three videos, Cruise delivers his signature maniacal laugh--you know, the one he repeatedly unleashed in that batty Scientology recruitment video years back--before launching into some sort of bit, and in all of them, it looks just like Cruise. There are a few giveaways, of course. Also, his voice is hollow and scratchy, a la that scene in Face/Off where John Travolta-as-Nicolas Cage is trying to adjust his vocals to that Cage-ian timbre. Still, the Cruise TikToks managed to bewilder and horrify a number of people.
New deepfake videos of actor Tom Cruise have made their way onto TikTok under the handle @deeptomcruise, and boy do they look real. They're so realistic, in fact, it's possible that you wouldn't even know they're computer-generated had you not been alerted by the account's handle. And they were made using not much more than sample footage of Cruise and deepfake technology that's getting easier for anyone to use. Not even two years ago it would have been easy to differentiate between a real and an AI-generated video of somebody. But the technology is advancing so rapidly that we've reached a point of escape velocity, and it's obvious that deepfakery isn't going to be used just for innocent purposes, like animating pictures of your past relatives.
Tom Cruise has gone viral on the popular video-sharing app TikTok, but the clips featuring the'Mission Impossible' star are deepfakes that experts are calling the'most alarmingly lifelike examples' of the technology. An account appeared on the app last week, dubbed'deeptomcruise,' which shows a number of videos depicting Cruise doing a magic trick, playing golf and reminiscing about the time he met the former President of the Soviet Union. The series of clips have been seen more than 11 million times on TikTok as of Tuesday, with many millions more on other social media platforms. Although the clips are for entertainment, experts warn that such content'should worry us'. 'Seeing is no longer believing' rhetoric undermines real video.' An account appeared on the app last week, dubbed'deeptomcruise,' which shows a number of videos that have been viewed more than 11 million times.
How do you defeat "deepfakes"? According to Google, you develop more of them. Google just released a large, free database of deepfake videos to help research develop detection tools. Google collaborated with "Jigsaw", a tech "incubator" founded by Google, and the FaceForesenics Benchmark Program at the Technical University of Munich and the University Federico II of Naples. They worked with several paid actors to create hundreds of real videos and then used popular deepfake technologies to generate thousands of fake videos.
Hany Farid, a digital forensics expert at UC Berkeley, says the dangers in sophisticated phony videos called "deepfakes" are amplified in their potential to travel rapidly across social media. Hany Farid, a digital forensics expert at UC Berkeley, says the dangers in sophisticated phony videos called "deepfakes" are amplified in their potential to travel rapidly across social media. The videos, uploaded to TikTok in recent weeks by the account @deeptomcruise, have raised new fears over the proliferation of convincing deepfakes -- the nickname for media generated by artificial intelligence technology showing phony events that often seem realistic enough to dupe an audience. Hany Farid, a professor at the University of California, Berkeley, told NPR's All Things Considered that the Cruise videos demonstrate a step up in the technology's evolving sophistication. "This is clearly a new category of deepfake that we have not seen before," said Farid, who researches digital forensics and misinformation.