The smile, the gestures, the laugh…. All seem genuine in a series of TikTok videos that appear to show Tom Cruise doing a magic trick or playing golf. Each movement is smooth, from him putting on his sunglasses to slicking his hair back before tossing on a hat.
And that’s what makes the videos so alarming. They aren’t real, and that isn’t Cruise. They’re the product of a visual effects specialist from Belgium named Chris Ume, who used deepfake technology to create compelling clips that look just like they feature the star. he and Cruise impersonator Miles Fisher were just trying to have fun when creating the videos, and that they “weren’t trying to fool people.” The TikTok account these videos were posted to, @deeptomcruise, now has over 380,000 followers.
disrupt elections or . And while these videos of a fake Cruise are amusing and creative, they also have people online concerned about the implications of this rapidly evolving technology.are videos that appear to show people doing or saying things they never did. Celebrities from to have appeared in deepfakes, with fans imagining them in new roles just for the fun of it. But there’s plenty of concern over the ability of this technology to
“Here’s the crazy thing about this Tom Cruise deepfake,” journalist Yashar Ali tweeted. “This isn’t even a super high-quality deepfake and I’m willing to bet that it could fool most people. Now imagine the quality of deepfake a government agency could produce.”
Wrote another Twitter user, “This can cause clashes and riots if people are not educated about this. A fake video of a leader from religion A talking crap on religion B. A fake video of your spouse with someone else in a compromising position. A fake video of a famous doctor asking to consume XYZ.”
The @deeptomcruise Twitter account responded to concerns by saying deepfakes aren’t needed to spread lies and falsehoods, and that “it is easy to tell if a video is from a celebrity’s official account (blue check), but if the video is filmed and posted by a third party, you wouldn’t be able to know if it is real.”
The internet appears divided between being merely fascinated by the videos and being outright creeped out and concerned about how the technology behind them can be used.
TikTok didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment. Nor did Cruise. In the meantime, we’ll all likely be watching thata little more inquisitively.