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'Deepfake' Tom Cruise videos go viral on TikTok, spark cybersecurity concerns: 'We are woefully unprepared'

The videos were uploaded by a TikTok account @deeptomcruise and had been viewed 11 million times
Deepfake TikTok videos of Tom Cruise went viral even though he isn't on the platform (Screengrab/ TikTok account @deeptomcruise)
Deepfake TikTok videos of Tom Cruise went viral even though he isn't on the platform (Screengrab/ TikTok account @deeptomcruise)

The latest video of Tom Cruise seemingly shows the 'Mission: Impossible' actor engaging his audiences in some magic. "I'm going to show you some magic," he is seen saying in the video holding up a coin. "It's the real thing," he adds and laughs in his signature manner and then makes the coin disappear. "It's all the real thing." While this video has gone viral on TikTok, turns out that it's all fake. 

Garnering millions of views since being uploaded on TikTok, the video left many wondering if the 58-year-old actor had officially joined the video-sharing platform. The latest emerging reports reveal that the person seen in the videos is not actually Cruise but a "deepfake" version. 


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Tom Cruise attends the 'The Mummy' New York Fan Event at AMC Loews Lincoln Square on June 6, 2017, in New York City (Getty Images)

This is one of the three videos uploaded by a TikTok account @deeptomcruise and at the time of writing this article had been viewed 11M times. While in one of the deepfake videos, Cruise is seen performing a magic trick, in another, he is seen practicing his golf swing. In the third video he cracks a joke. Just while writing this article alone, the account earned more than 342,000 followers and a total of 1M likes from users. All these people thought that the person seen in the videos is actually Cruise. After the video got millions of views and shares across social media portals, experts are warning that deepfake technology is advancing at a much faster rate than most people realize.

According to experts in the forensic analysis of digital images, deepfake is a technology with which one can create highly convincing fake videos using AI technology. The person behind the deepfake videos has not been identified yet. However, Cruise impersonator Evan Ferrante reportedly said that he believed the videos were created by actor Miles Fisher, who resembles Cruise and has done impressions of him in the past. According to reports, several people on social media also said that they believed Fisher is playing Cruise in the video and that his face is modified using deepfake technology. 

You can watch one of the videos here. "See this video of Tom Cruise? Well, it’s not Tom Cruise. It’s AI generated synthetic media that portrays Tom Cruise onto a TikTok user using Deepfakes. Seeing is no longer believing," a user tweeted, adding, "We are woefully unprepared for this. AI safety needs to be bumped up our list of priorities." Another user said, "These deepfake Tom Cruise videos are deeply disturbing. Just like the real Tom Cruise." 



On Twitter, users spoke about the threat to cybersecurity. One pointed out the damage that deepfake AI technology could cause with political figures. "I’m absolutely amazed we aren’t seeing a flood of popular/political figures getting stitched into compromising or embarrassing videos by trolls so far," one pointed out. Going by the speed at which this technology is being developed, users said they won't be surprised if it happens in the near future. "I wouldn't be surprised if we see a lot more of that in 3 years."



Noting the threats of deepfake, a user tweeted, "This is perhaps the most worrying aspect of DeepFakes that is not talked about so much. It's not just that things can be faked, but also that things can be denied. Plausible deniability for real events." Another user tweeted along the same lines, "Just gives conspiracy theorists more fodder for conspiracies. For court cases, though, would digital forensics be able to verify whether it’s real or fake?" A user tweeted, "The "signatures" they detect are effectively the training data for the next iteration of faking AI. Soon such fakes will be indistinguishable to all but a similarly trained and equivalently powered detecting AI and those who operate them."