The SAG-AFTRA strike may have ended, but the threat of AI replacing actors apparently hasn't.
The video appears to feature Hanks doing a promotion for a dental insurance plan. But the bizarre image is definitely not Hanks—not that you'd necessarily notice unless you were really paying close attention.
In onscreen text in his Instagram post, Hanks wrote:
“BEWARE!! There’s a video out there promoting some dental plan with an AI version of me. I have nothing to do with it."
When you look at it closely, the image does appear to be heavily altered, especially since Hanks appears quite a bit younger than he is today. The image is likely a good 10 years old, as it turns out, and appears to be a doctored version of a 2013 photo of Hanks by Los Angeles Times photographer Jay L. Clendenin.
The timing is rather curious, as Hanks is currently in production for a film called Here, which he will be de-aged by an AI-fueled post-production too. The film sparked a conversation about AI's implication for actors during Hanks' recent appearance on "The Adam Buxton Podcast."
Of AI filmmaking tools, Hanks said:
“I could be hit by a bus tomorrow and that’s it, but performances can go on and on and on and on."
“Outside the understanding of AI and 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.”
That last part about the legal ramifications seems likely to rear its head soon regarding Hanks' supposed dental ad, since he seems to not have given consent for his likeness to be used.
On social media, Hanks' bizarre AI mishap definitely had people talking.
@CBSSunday When we can no longer trust what we see and hear to be authentic, we have lost everything. Propaganda will explode and, with the level of gullibility and lack of critical thinking skills we see today, much of it will be believed and acted upon.— \ud83c\udff3\ufe0f\u200d\ud83c\udf08\ud83e\udde9\ud83c\uddfa\ud83c\udde6#SlavaUkraini! #GunReformNOW! (@\ud83c\udff3\ufe0f\u200d\ud83c\udf08\ud83e\udde9\ud83c\uddfa\ud83c\udde6#SlavaUkraini! #GunReformNOW!) 1696291679
@CNN And people wonder why actors and writers are striking. How would you feel if your intellectual property was stolen and used without your consent or compensation?— Ski\ud83c\udfc0 (@Ski\ud83c\udfc0) 1696282488
@THR This is what our #SAGAFTRA NegCom is fighting for. \n#Ai protections across the board. \n#ConsentAndCompensation\n#SAGAFTRAStrong— Frances Fisher 97.91% #SAGAFTRAStrike\u270a\ud83c\udffd (@Frances Fisher 97.91% #SAGAFTRAStrike\u270a\ud83c\udffd) 1696205710
How do we know that the Tom Hanks that is "blasting AI once again" is actually Tom Hanks?\nAttacking AI is EXACTLY what an AI would do to make us all think that it *wasn't* AI.\nYOU CAN'T FOOL US, AI TOM HANKS!!!— Sean The Producer (@Sean The Producer) 1696279002
This is a perfect example of the need to interrogate claims of \u201cProgress & Innovation.\u201d Is it \u201cProgress\u201d when we remove the human from humanity? When we eliminate free will? When consent & self-sovereignty are erased? INNOVATION & PROGRESS aren\u2019t synonyms.\nhttps://t.co/q0ihNHBsgl— neil turkewitz (@neil turkewitz) 1696245249
I hope SAG/AFTRA holds out for, if not 0, extremely limited AI usage. Like it\u2019s not bad enough to hear \u201cThey decided to go another way,\u201d now we have to worry the other way is \u201cTom Hanks\u2019s likeness circa 1986?!\u201d— erin whitehead (@erin whitehead) 1696181879
This is a corrupt use of AI (under the category of "duh"). \n\nAI has many possibilities, but be a smart consumer of information. If someone can fake a dental plan ad with Tom Hanks, they can do much more malicious stuff.— Cindy Skaggs is writing (@Cindy Skaggs is writing) 1696279866
Hanks also discussed with Buxton the AI-related parts of the SAG-AFTRA strike, which formed a large part of the actors' union's sticking points with Hollywood producers. The union and producers are currently in negotiations.