Tom Hanks denounces AI-generated dental ad featuring him

October 2, 2023

Hanks AI

Tom Hanks recently revealed that an advertisement for a dental plan, appearing to star him, was actually an AI-generated fake. 

Hanks clarified his non-involvement, sharing an image from the deceptive ad on Instagram and warning, “Beware!! There’s a video out there promoting some dental plan with an AI version of me. I have nothing to do with it.” 

The ad displayed an AI-generated version of a younger Hanks with strikingly darker hair.


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Previously, Hanks has commented on the potential impact of AI on the film industry. In a discussion with comedian Adam Buxton this year, he drew parallels between the emergence of AI and the invention of the printing press. 

He shared his opinion, saying, “If I wanted to, I could get together and pitch a series of seven movies that would star me in them in which I would be 32 years old from now until kingdom come.” 

He emphasized that anyone can recreate themselves at any age through AI and deep fake technology, adding, “Anybody can now recreate themselves at any age they are by way of AI or deep fake technology. I could be hit by a bus tomorrow and that’s it – but performances can go on and on and on.”

Hanks is correct, as AI startups are already busy ‘resurrecting’ dead actors, including James Dean, who may be the first deceased individual to take a feature role in a movie.

Deep fakes, which are highly realistic AI-generated representations of real individuals, have sparked concerns, especially in the entertainment industry. Notable figures like consumer finance expert Martin Lewis have had their images misappropriated for deep fakes, some of which are scams.

In a recent shocking case, schoolgirls in Spain were generated without clothes, igniting debate about when AI-generated content becomes pedophilia. 

Deep fake videos of political figures, like former US President Donald Trump and Ukraine’s leader, Volodymyr Zelensky, exacerbate misinformation issues. As a countermeasure, Google recently mandated the disclosure of AI-created political ads on its platform.

Meanwhile, Hollywood is currently grappling with the implications of AI. The Writers Guild of America (WGA) recently concluded a tentative agreement regarding AI’s role in film and TV, but it only lasts for three years, and AI is sure to have advanced massively by then. 

Simultaneously, a dispute involving actors, fueled partly by concerns about AI diminishing acting opportunities, remains unresolved.

This same 24 hours, actor Robin William’s daughter Zelda spoke out about AI-generated voices of her father, calling them a “horrendous Frankensteinian monster, cobbled together from the worst bits of everything this industry is, instead of what it should stand for.”

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Sam Jeans

Sam is a science and technology writer who has worked in various AI startups. When he’s not writing, he can be found reading medical journals or digging through boxes of vinyl records.


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