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Tom Cruise deepfake creator on how he made viral TikTok video

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He’s sorry for faking us out.

The creator of recent, viral deepfake videos showing Tom Cruise practicing his golf swing, doing a magic trick and laughing at his own pratfall now says he did not mean to freak anyone out.

“I’d like to show people the technical possibilities of these things. I don’t intend to use it in any way where I would upset people — I just want to show them what’s possible in a few years,” Belgian visual effects artist Christopher Ume told the Guardian of the videos, which employ a Cruise impersonator, Miles Fisher, to pull off the ruse.

The series of startlingly lifelike videos — posted on a TikTok page titled “deeptomcruise” — featuring the faux action star emerged last week and have since accumulated millions of views and become a viral sharing sensation.

“I just strongly think that there should be laws to help with the responsible use of AI and deepfakes,” Ume said in the wake of his eye-opening — and eye-deceiving — endeavor.

A "deepfake" video shows tom Cruise playing golf.
A deepfake video shows Tom Cruise playing golf.
@deeptomcruise/TikTok

Ume and Fisher had previously worked together on a YouTube web series that imagined a 2020 presidential campaign run by the 58-year-old “Mission: Impossible” actor.

“A month later, he contacted me again, and said: ‘Let’s make a funny video … I’ll film myself in my garden and then you just make me look like Tom Cruise,’ ” Ume remembered. “And so we did that and he posted it — but he also created a TikTok account. He doesn’t know anything about the app, I don’t either, but then two days later, he sends me a screenshot: ‘Dude. Two and a half million views.’ ”

The rest is fake history.

But Ume said he never intended to pull one over on the public; he simply wanted to step up his work game.

“When I started doing video and working on my projects, just in general, I always had a dream. I would like to work for Peter Jackson on ‘The Lord of the Rings,’ ” he told the Guardian. “I’m saying this in every interview: Hey, Peter, if you’re reading this, contact me.”

So-called deepfake technology has perplexed the public for years. In 2019, a freaky video fused Cruise’s face on that of “Barry” star Bill Hader during a 2008 interview on “Late Night with David Letterman.” And deepfake porn has even found a peculiarly specific pop culture target: K-pop stars.

Meanwhile, technology experts are slamming the infusion of deepfakes into pop culture and the world in general.

“Deepfakes will impact public trust, provide cover & plausible deniability for criminals/abusers caught on video or audio, and will be (and are) used to manipulate, humiliate, & hurt people,” Rachel Tobac, the CEO of online security company SocialProof, said in a recent tweet, adding they had “real world safety, political etc impact for everyone.”

 



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H.BUSH founded Open Your Times with an aim to bring relevant and unaltered news to the general public with a specific viewpoint for each story catered by the team. He is a proficient journalist who holds a reputable portfolio with proficiency in content analysis and research. With ample knowledge about the business industry, H.BUSH also contributes her knowledge to the business section of the website.