Tom Hanks warns of AI version of him used without his consent

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Tom Hanks

Tom Hanks has revealed that an artificial intelligence (AI) version of his likeness has been used in a dental plan advert without his consent.

The Oscar-winning actor shared a screenshot of the apparent image on his Instagram page, while also posting a warning to his followers.

“BEWARE!! There’s a video out there promoting some dental plan with an AI version of me,” Hanks wrote. “I have nothing to do with it. – Tom Hanks.”

The actor previously addressed the rise of AI and how it could affect the entertainment industry, telling The Adam Buxton Podcast in April: “We saw this coming. We saw that there was going to be this ability to take zeros and ones inside a computer and turn it into a face and a character. Now that has only grown a billionfold since then, and we see it everywhere.

“I can tell you that there [are] discussions going on in all of the guilds, all of the agencies, and all of the legal firms to come up with the legal ramifications of my face and my voice – and everybody else’s – being our intellectual property.”

“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,” Hanks added.

Tom Hanks at Cannes 2023. CREDIT: Getty/Laurent KOFFEL/Gamma-Rapho

“I could be hit by a bus tomorrow, and that’s it, but performances can go on and on and on and on. And outside of the understanding that it’s been done with AI or deepfake, there’ll be nothing to tell you that it’s not me and me alone. And it’s going to have some degree of lifelike quality. That’s certainly an artistic challenge, but it’s also a legal one.”

It comes after the Writers’ Guild of America (WGA) ended its Hollywood strike last month, with new guidelines regulating the use of AI. Within these is a banning of AI from writing or rewriting any literary material, while AI-generated material will not be considered source material.

However, the agreement does not prohibit writers from using AI to help their writing if companies allow it, and studios cannot require writers to use AI software. They must also inform writers if any material is generated by or contains AI-generated material.

Striking Writers Guild of America (WGA) members on September 22. Credit: Mario Tama/Getty Images

In other news, Elvis star Austin Butler has revealed that co-star Hanks expressed concern towards him after Butler was immersed “so deeply” in his role as Elvis Presley, and offered him a part in new series Masters Of The Air.

“[Hanks] said, ‘You have immersed yourself so deeply in Elvis that, for your mental health, it would be wise to go straight into something else. If you just jump off the train, you might have emotional whiplash…,” he told The Sunday Times.

“And, you know,’ Hanks continued. ‘I’ve got this thing I’m producing.’”

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