Be (Very) Worried About The Tom Cruise Deepfakes

Tom Cruise deepfakes

After creating a convincing viral series of Tom Cruise deepfakes on TikTok, VFX specialist Chris Ume told The Verge, “You can’t do it by just pressing a button. That’s important, that’s a message I want to tell people.” He went on to say that each clip took weeks of work using the open-source DeepFaceLab algorithm as well as established video editing tools. The key takeaway, and the title of the article, was "Tom Cruise deepfake creator says public shouldn’t be worried about ‘one-click fakes’".

I “strenuously object.” You should be extremely worried about deepfakes, the technology that empowers their creation, and the exponential speed of innovation.

Ume Says He’s Not Worried

The Verge article concludes:

Ume, though, says he isn’t too worried about the future. We’ve developed such technology before and society’s conception of truth has more or less survived. “It’s like Photoshop 20 years ago, people didn’t know what photo editing was, and now they know about these fakes,” he says. As deepfakes become more and more of a staple in TV and movies, people’s expectations will change, as they did for imagery in the age of Photoshop. One thing’s for certain, says Ume, and it’s that the genie can’t be put back in the bottle. “Deepfakes are here to stay,” he says. “Everyone believes in it.”

Deepfakes Tech Should Have Your Undivided Attention

Ume says, “It’s like Photoshop 20 years ago, people didn’t know what photo editing was, and now they know about these fakes.” Know about them? In 2021, it is safe to assume that every image you see has been manipulated or enhanced or altered in some way (Photoshopped, Instagram filtered, cropped, colorized, compressed, deepfaked, faceswapped, etc.). If you didn’t personally create an image, you have no way to authenticate it.

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Shelly Palmer is Fox 5 New York's On-air Tech Expert (WNYW-TV) and the host of Fox Television's monthly show Shelly Palmer Digital Living. He also hosts United Stations Radio Network's, ...

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