Have you seen Tom Cruise’s new TikTok account? He’s doing magic tricks, playing golf and falling over in shops, entertainingly enough to have racked up more than 338,000 followers and a million likes. The twist, which is made clear in the username – @deeptomcruise – is that this isn’t really Tom Cruise at all. These are ‘deepfake’ videos, created using the latest wave of AI-powered tools, and they are startlingly realistic. Well, apart from the fact that ‘Tom’ (or rather, whoever is providing the body for the deepfake face) is a bit tall.
There’s a Twitter account that appears to belong to the creator, which suggests they have been working on the project since 2018. While it is made clear that this isn’t the real Cruise, the videos are the biggest prod yet for anyone working with celebrities (musicians included) to think hard about the implications as the tech required to create deepfake videos goes mainstream.