Tom Hanks believes that with the technology of artificial intelligence (AI), he will be able to appear and act in new movies long after his death.
“What is a bona fide possibility right now, if I wanted to, [is] 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,” Hanks said in the latest episode of “The Adam Buxton Podcast,” released on Saturday.
“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 my performances can go on and on and on.”
“Outside of the understanding that it’s been done by AI or deep fake, 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,” the actor added.
Tom Hanks, who was nominated for a Best Supporting Actor Oscar for his role as Fred Rogers in “A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood, however, said that fans would be able to tell between his real-life performance and AI-self performance in movies, but they won’t care.
“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.”
He then said it would be easy to create an AI Tom Hanks because his likeness and movements were recorded for use in the 2004 movie “The Polar Express”.
The Polar Express, which was released in 2004, was the first movie entirely animated using digital motion-capture technology.
“This has always been lingering,” said Hanks. “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.'”
“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. Now, that has only grown a billionfold since then and we see it everywhere.”
However, AI comes with its own risks and drawbacks as Hanks suggests that movie actors/actresses will have to start including a clause in their contracts to protect their likenesses as intellectual property.
“I can tell you that there [are] discussions going on in all of the guilds, all of the agencies, and all of the legal firms in order to come up with the legal ramifications of my face and my voice and everybody else’s being our intellectual property”.
Similar technology has already been used in the latest Indiana Jones film, in which 80-year-old Harrison Ford, was “de-aged” for the opening sequence.
Filmmakers trawled archived material of the younger Ford before matching it to new footage, creating the illusion of Indiana Jones in 1944.
AI is already posing problems in the music industry, with conflicting reactions to its use to make music using an artist’s voice-like.
A song created using the cloned voices of Drake and The Weeknd was pulled from streaming services last month, but Grimes has encouraged musicians to use her voice to make music.