Tom Cruise has been making waves on TikTok recently but he has never made a single TikTok video in his life. In a science-fiction turned reality move, deepfakes have put Tom Cruise at the forefront of TikTok in a series of unnervingly realistic-looking videos where the actor's face is morphed onto other people using machine learning. The videos continue to strengthen a global fear of deepfakes and the far reaching consequences of technology.
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The Tom Cruise TikToks are fake, but where do deepfakes end?
Tom Cruise's deepfakes have caused widespread confusion when they began surfacing on TikTok this week. The eerily realistic videos paint a grim picture of people's privacy online. It seems anyone's face can be weaponised against them saying or doing things they never have. Deepfakes are defined as:
synthetic media in which a person in an existing image or video is replaced with someone else's likeness using machine learning and artificial intelligence to manipulate or generate visual and audio content
In recent years, deepfakes have gotten extremely sophisticated where people sitting home can create highly convincing videos of people and celebrities on their home PCs.
While the implications of deepfakes are heavy if used by the wrong hands, the technology in itself is quite beneficial and can be put to great use. Here's a clip of a deepfaker who drastically changed "The Lion King" to look more in line with the original animation.
The dangers of deepfakes are real and steps are being taken by governments and world leaders to crack down on them for the use of "fake news." But, the role of this revolutionary technology can be immense for humanity in the near future.
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