Deepfake Tom Cruise TikTok clip is ‘worryingly good’ sparking AI dystopia fears

Tom Cruise fans were baffled when deepfake viral videos of the Hollywood star emerged on TikTok doing magic tricks and playing golf.

The videos show what appears to be the Mission Impossible star giving his trademark laugh in front of the camera, but the account user of @deeptomcruise is actually depicting the actor using the AI technology.

In one video, the 58-year-old is seen performing a magic trick to make a coin disappear from his hand.

"I will show you some magic," he says. "It's the real thing."

He then gives away a laugh and continues: "I mean, uh, it's all real."

Another video which amassed 8.7 million views captures "Tom Cruise" practising his golf swing.

He looks into the camera and puts on the sunglasses, saying: "What's up TikTok? You guys cool if I play some sports?"

Viewers were impressed by the technology but also felt it was "scary".

One said: "These deepfakes are getting worryingly good. How can we trust what we see in TV and camera?"

Another added: "This is fascinating and scary at the same time."

The clips led experts to warn that deepfake technology is advancing much faster than most people realise.

The AI-generated fakes are so advanced that essentially anybody can take another person’s face and make them do whatever they want on camera, experts say.

Hany Farid, a professor at the University of California at Berkeley who specialises in the analysis of digital images, says he is convinced that the videos are deepfakes but that they are “incredibly well done".

He told Fortune that in one of the clips the actor's eye colour and eye shape change slightly at the end of the video.

There are also two unusual small white dots seen in the iris – ostensibly reflected light – that Farid says change more than would be expected in an authentic video.

This is not the first deepfake video that raised concerns of AI fakes.

In December, Channel 4 aired their own version of the Queen's annual Christmas message over the festive period using deepfake technology.

During the four-minute skit, a deepfake "Queen" addressed controversial topics such as Prince Andrew's disastrous Newsnight interview as well as Prince Harry and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex's departure from The Royal Family.

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