Tom Hanks Says AI Could Allow Him to Appear in Movies After His Death

Tom Hanks knows that the future of artificial intelligence, known as AI, can be quite troubling.

During a recent appearance on the “Adam Buxton Podcast,” Hanks said that AI could allow actors to “recreate themselves at any age” and called movies featuring AI or deepfake-created stars “a bona fide possibility” in the future.

He imagined a scenario where he starred in a series of seven movies as his 32-year-old self.

Tom Hanks attends the “A Man Called Otto” New York Screening at Dot Dash Meredith on Jan. 9, 2023, in New York.Dia Dipasupil / Getty Images

“I could be hit by a bus tomorrow and that’s it, but my performances can go on and on and on,” he said.

“And outside of the understanding that it’s been done by AI or 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. And that is certainly an artistic challenge, but it’s also a legal one.”

Buxton, a British actor and comedian, acknowledged that this could be the way of the future, but he told Hanks that fans would likely prefer to watch human performances, not AI ones.

“Without a doubt, people will be able to tell, but the question is, will they care?” Hanks replied.

“There are some people that won’t care, that won’t make that delineation,” he added.

Hanks also said there were 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.”

Earlier in the interview, he noted that his 2004 Christmas movie, “The Polar Express,” was created with AI-like technology that relied on his voice and face to create an animated likeness.

Tom Hanks, as the conductor on The Polar Express.
Tom Hanks as the conductor on “The Polar Express.”Alamy

“And 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,” he said.

“Now, that has only grown a billionfold since then, and we see it everywhere.”

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