Any time I hear people freaking out about A.I., for good or bad, I’m skeptical. So much that happens in the world of A.I. is hype that the technology may never live up to, much less live up to it now, that you have to take it with a grain of salt.
So it goes with the great Tom Cruise deepfake.
It took a good VFX artist two months to turn footage of a Tom Cruise impersonator into the videos that people are freaking out about. The Verge has a good article on it.
This is an awesome demo reel for the VFX artist involved. It’s very well done.
But it doesn’t make an awesome case for the technology disrupting the world as we know it. It needed raw footage of someone that looked and acted like Cruise. It then took months to clean up the results of the A.I. modifying the Cruise look-a-like.
(It does make an interesting case for the tech to be used in VFX, but that’s something different)
This isn’t a ‘one-click’ or even a ‘whole-bunch-of-clicks’ technology. It’s a ‘shit-ton-of-work’ technology and given they had the footage of the Cruise look-a-like you can make an argument that it could’ve been done in less time with traditional rotoscoping and compositing.
Anyways, the fear and consternation has gotten ahead of itself. We’ve had the ability to put people in photos they weren’t in for a long time. We’ve figured out how to deal with it. (not to mention, it’s STILL very difficult to cut someone out of one picture and put them in another one without it being detectable… and Photoshop is, what, 30 years old now?)
It’s good to consider the implications but we’re a long, long way from anyone being able to do this to any video.