Tom Hanks wants everyone to know that the AI version of himself used to sell a dental plan was done without his permission. The two-time Best Actor Oscar winner of Forrest Gump and Philadelphia is an outspoken critic about the use of AI in the entertainment industry.
Hanks posted on Instagram, “BEWARE!! There’s a video out there promoting some dental plan with an AI version of me. I have nothing to do with it.”
On The Adam Buxton Podcast in May, Hanks said, “We saw this coming. We saw that there was going to be this ability to take zeros and ones inside a computer and turn it into a face and a character. Now that has only grown a billionfold since then, and we see it everywhere.”
Tom Hanks Says That Polar Express Is the First Movie of His to Lock His Likeness into a Computer
In the 2004 computer-animated film The Polar Express, Hanks lent his voice and/or likeness to several characters: Hero Boy (Chris), Hero Boy's father, Conductor (pictured, above), Hobo, Santa Claus, and Ebenezer Scrooge puppet. On the Adam Buxton Podcast, Hanks says The Polar Express is the first time his likeness was scanned and stored into a computer.
“I could be hit by a bus tomorrow, and that’s it, but performances can go on and on and on and on,” said Hanks on the podcast that took place shortly after the WGA strike began but before the SAG-AFTRA strike did. “Outside the understanding of AI and deepfake, there’ll be nothing to tell you that it’s not me and me alone. And it’s going to have some degree of lifelike quality. That’s certainly an artistic challenge, but it’s also a legal one.”
According to The Hollywood Reporter, “While the writers strike officially ended Wednesday, it took nearly 150 days for studios to agree to protections for writers against AI penning or rewriting original scripts or being used as ‘source material' to adapt. Per their new deal, writers also cannot be required to use AI, and companies must disclose if they are giving writers any sort of AI-generated material.”
Talks between SAG-AFTRA and the studios resumed today, October 2. According to Variety, “AI, streaming residuals and minimum rate hikes will be among the key issues on the table when SAG-AFTRA and Hollywood’s largest employers sit down Monday for the first formal bargaining talks since the performers union went on strike July 14.”