Tom Cruise: Hollywood star’s viral deepfake creator warns people to think about rigged videos from Science & Tech News
The creator of a number of fake Tom Cruise videos says he wants people to be more aware of what they are watching – and that it may not be real.
Chris Ume’s videos, which have been viewed more than 11 million times, appear to be showing cruise Play golf, do a magic trick and fall over as he tells a story about former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev.
A deepfake is usually an image or video in which a person or object is manipulated visually or acoustically in order to say and do something that was made.
Most people realized that Ome’s videos were fake – but the 31-year-old says the speed at which technology advances could cause problems in the future.
“I always try to create fun content, but at the same time people realize when they watch these videos and will see what’s possible over the next few years,” he told Sky News.
“Technology is evolving rapidly and is getting better and more accessible over time.
“Twenty years ago you had Photoshop, you didn’t know about fake photos, so you started editing photos and now people – like photos – realize that videos can be misleading.
“That’s why it’s important for me to create awareness so that people think twice when they see similar videos.
“In a year’s time people will have to wonder what they are seeing, and it is important that journalists validate their sources and where they got them from.
“There will always be people who abuse techniques, so you have to think twice when you look at something.”
The Cruise Double, actors Miles Fisher and Ume have worked together on a number of projects – but none are as popular as this one.
Ume told Sky News, “I’ve never had videos viral like this before, so we were amazed. We like the mystery around them and how they made people smile.
“To create a deepfake as realistic as this one, you need two things.
“On the one hand, a great actor who pretends to be someone great – Miles Fisher has been Tom Cruise for a while.
“And on the other hand, you need someone like me who specializes in deepfake and special effects as well as hardware.”
Other rigged videos that have gained prominence in recent years include a BuzzFeed-produced video showing actor Jordan Peele’s 2018 realistic-looking imitation of former President Barack Obama.
And last year a deeply fake queen delivered a misinformation and fake news warning on Channel 4’s Alternative Christmas Message.