Deepfakes are certainly a concerning technology advancement in the wrong hands. The ability to place one virtual face on top of someone else's has the potential for great harm - false accusations, identity theft, and more. However, in what seems like a weird turn of events, the most prominent usage of deepfakes right now seems to be in faking Tom Cruise doing weird things - and it sounds like the South Park creators are involved with it somehow?
Okay, so, this isn't the first time you might have seen a deepfake of Tom Cruise, Corridor Digital used a Tom Cruise impersonator to pull off a really impressive video that shows how 'easy' (relatively) it could be to fake a celebrity appearance. That deepfake has its issues, of course, it's not perfect, but an even more convincing version of a fake Tom has appeared on TikTok.
In some now-deleted TikToks, user deeptomcruise released a trio of slightly disturbing videos. They're Tom Cruise look-alikes, talking and acting like the celebrity, with just the smallest hints that the face isn't real. Slight distorting, the face not working behind sunglasses as well, and the deadness of the eyes make it so that it's not 100% Tom, but if you saw one of these clips in passing, you might not think twice about the clip being edited at all.
Here's the crazy thing about this Tom Cruise deepfake....
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.https://t.co/wMFMarEtAi pic.twitter.com/CjTxnNv2XI
- Yashar Ali :elephant: (@yashar) February 26, 2021
Gamespot notes that someone has already taken credit for these videos - a video visual effects specialist by the name of Chris Ume. The AI artist posted on LinkedIn to share the impressive videos as professional work.
Interestingly, the company Ume works for is Deep Voodoo, an AI studio in LA which, get this, was created by Matt Stone and Trey Parker, the guys behind South Park. This studio has already used deepfake tech with a webseries called Sassy Justice, a spoof news show where the main actor Peter Serafinowicz takes on the appearance of Donald Trump as a news reporter Fred Sassy.
It would stand to reason to think either this impressive Tom Cruise model will make an appearance in the ongoing web series, or perhaps the creators are thinking about an even bigger project involving the deepfakes of multiple celebrities.
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