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Tom Hanks: Don’t fall for “AI version of me” promoting dental plan

Tom Hanks has warned fans that a dental advertisement seemingly featuring the actor’s likeness is not actually him — it’s artificial intelligence.

“BEWARE!! There’s a video out there promoting some dental plan with an AI version of me,” Hanks wrote on  Instagram Sunday, including an image of himself that, he said, was computer-generated using artificial intelligence. 

“I have nothing to do with it,” Hanks added.

The “Asteroid City” star is one of many voices within the film and television industry now speaking openly about the use of AI in media.

“This is something that is literally part and parcel to what’s going on in the realm of intellectual property rights right now. This has always been lingering,” Hanks said on The Adam Buxton Podcast in May, noting that the rise of artificial technology poses “an artistic challenge” as well as “a legal one.”

“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,” he said. “Anybody can now recreate themselves at any age they are, by way of AI or deepfake technology. I could be hit by a bus tomorrow and that’s it. But my performances can go on and on and on and on, and outside of the understanding that has been done with AI or deepfake. There’ll be nothing to tell you that it’s not me and me alone.”

How artificial intelligence is used in media became a significant point of contention as unionized actors and writers went on strike this year, amid contract negotiations with Hollywood studios.  When the writers strike ended in late September, the Writers Guild of America said it had reached a deal that included provisions regarding the use of artificial technology in productions covered by the union’s collective bargaining agreement.

Hanks discussed the negotiations in an interview on “CBS Sunday Mornings” shortly after the strike began in the spring.

“The entire industry is at a crossroads, and everybody knows it,” he said at the time, adding that “the financial motor has to be completely redefined” to benefit content creators rather than studios alone.

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