Alongside his warning, Hanks shared a photo of an apparent AI likeness depicting his younger self, though it is unclear whether this came from the dental plan ad.
“BEWARE!!” the Oscar-winning actor wrote on his verified Instagram account. “There’s a video out there promoting some dental plan with an AI version of me. I have nothing to do with it.”
CNN could not independently verify the content of the dental plan ad that Hanks referenced and has reached out to Hanks’ representatives for comment.
Using AI to create virtual actors has become one of Hollywood’s hottest topics of late as it has been one of the issues driving the ongoing actors’ strike.
AI allows much easier and cheaper use of CGI to generate performances by actors who aren’t there. SAG-AFTRA, the actors’ union, has argued that studios want to use the technology to eliminate acting jobs by scanning and creating digital likenesses to use in perpetuity without fair compensation.
Hanks himself had previously spoken about the possible consequences of using AI in the acting industry, telling “The Adam Buxton Podcast” in May that movie agents are discussing writing contracts to protect actors’ likenesses as intellectual property.
Hanks also suggested on the same podcast that the technology could allow him to keep appearing in new movies after he dies.
“Anybody can now recreate themselves at any age they are by way of AI or deep fake technology … I could be hit by a bus tomorrow and that’s it, but my performances can go on and on and on,” he added.
While Hanks acknowledged that an AI version of himself would not be able to produce the same performances as he does now, he wondered whether audiences would really mind.
“Without a doubt people will be able to tell, but the question is, will they care?” he said. “There are some people that won’t care, that won’t make that delineation.”
The task of creating an AI Hanks would be made easier, as his likeness and movements were recorded for use in the 2004 movie “The Polar Express,” he said.
“This has always been lingering,” said Hanks. “The first time we did a movie that had a huge amount of our own data locked in a computer — literally what we looked like — was a movie called ‘The Polar Express.’”
“We saw this coming, we saw that there was going to be this ability in order to take zeros and ones inside a computer and turn it into a face and a character. Now, that has only grown a billionfold since then and we see it everywhere.”
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