Death is no longer the end of an actor’s career, Tom Hanks theorized during a recent conversation on “The Adam Buxton Podcast” (via BBC). Why? Artificial intelligence and deepfakes, the actor said. Both technologies will be on full display at the Cannes Film Festival thanks to the world premiere of “Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny,” which used AI to help de-age Harrison Ford so that he resembles his appearance from 1981’s “Raiders of the Lost Ark.”
“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,’” Hanks said, referring to Robert Zemeckis’ 2004 Christmas movie. “We saw this coming, we saw that there was going to be this ability to take zeros and ones from inside a computer and turn it into a face and a character. That has only grown a billion-fold since then and we see it everywhere.”
Hanks said that because of AI and deepfake technology, it’s now possible for him to pitch multiple movies in which he would appear as a 32 year old. Such a possibility won’t end when Hanks’ dies either.
“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 performances can go on and on and on and on,” Hanks said. “Outside the understanding of AI and deepfake, there’ll be nothing to tell you that it’s not me and me alone. And it’s going to have some degree of lifelike quality. That’s certainly an artistic challenge but it’s also a legal one.”
The Oscar winner said that “all of the guilds, all of the agencies, and all of the legal firms” are currently in discussion on “the legal ramifications of my face and my voice and everybody else’s being our intellectual property.”
Hanks added, “Without a doubt people will be able to tell [that it’s AI], but the question is will they care? There are some people that won’t care, that won’t make that delineation.”
For “Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny,” AI was used to pull stills of Harrison Ford’s face from movies across his filmography. Those images were rendered into creating his younger de-aged face.