Even after death, we may not hear the last of Tom Hanks thanks to artificial intelligence.
The actor believes it’s a “bona fide possibility” that the show will go on long after he’s deceased because AI will immortalize actors on screen through posthumous content.
“Anybody can now recreate themselves at any age they are by way of AI or deep fake technology,” Hanks said during a May 12 appearance on “The Adam Buxton Podcast” while promoting his debut novel “The Making of Another Major Motion Picture Masterpiece.”
“I could be hit by a bus tomorrow and that’s it, but my performances can go on and on and on,” he added.
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Hanks said AI has gotten so sophisticated that, apart from disclaimers, it will get increasingly harder for people to differentiate between “life-like quality” and what’s AI, which presents “an artistic challenge, but also a legal one.”
However, host Adam Buxton said he thinks the audience “would be able to tell” the difference between the actual actor and an AI-generated rendition of him on account of stylistic choices and human actions that make his performances unique but would get lost on the technology. And while Hanks agreed, he wondered if the audience would mind.
“Without a doubt, people will be able to tell, but the question is, will they care?” he said. “There are some people that won’t care, that won’t make that delineation.”
Hanks added that there are larger discussions taking place legally to protect the likeness of actors under intellectual property, but that an AI version of himself wouldn’t be too strenuous thanks to his work in animation.
“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,'” he said.
When it was released in 2004, the animated movie was considered “technologically groundbreaking” for its use of motion capture technology to take his performance from a sound stage to a three-dimensional animation, according to CNN.
“We saw this coming, we saw that there was going to be this ability in order to take zeros and ones inside a computer and turn it into a face and a character,” he continued. “Now, that has only grown a billionfold since then and we see it everywhere.”