Tom Cruise Deepfake Videos Go Viral Raising Concerns On Role Of Deepfakes In Misinformation

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Several deepfake Tom Cruise videos went viral this past week on TikTok showing the actor engaging in various activities. In one of the videos Cruise practices a golf swing, in another he performs a magic trick, and in the third, he is seen relating a joke to listeners.

The identity of the creator of viral Tom Cruise videos revealed

Interestingly the videos appear to be realistic, and most social media users are finding it hard to believe that it wasn’t Cruise they saw on the screens. Most thought that Cruise had joined TikTok when the videos started trending. These deepfake videos are high-tech handiwork of Belgian video visual effect specialist Chris Ume. The videos appeared last week without any explanation to credits from an account called @deeptomcruise, and they have drawn attention for being the most realistic examples of how fake videos can be used in spreading misinformation.

The deepfake videos looked real and could confuse an average viewer despite not being that super high quality. In a post on his LinkedIn page, Ume took credit for being behind the Crusie deepfake videos. He confirmed to Fortune that he created the videos. But, didn’t answer any more questions regarding the videos stating that he and his team that worked on the videos were not ready to speak to the press, Ume said that they are looking for the right way to communicate about the videos.

Video garners 11 million views

The videos have attracted almost 11 million views on TikTok because of Cruise’s virtuoso impression and the highly polished visual effects used. Figuring the face behind the videos was challenging because there was no name behind the TikTok account that published them. However, few people noticed that Ume had posted the video links to his LinkedIn profile. Ume was also behind deepfake videos that appeared in mid-January before the latest videos. In the video, he morphed Cruise impersonator Miles Fisher’s face into Cruise’s deepfake at the end of the video.

Miles fisher portraying Tom Cruise in deepfake videos

Fisher has not acknowledged playing Cruise in the latest viral videos. Social media sleuths and another Cruise impersonator have flagged the actor as the person whose body, voices, and hands are used to depict Tom Cruise. In 2019, Ume took another video in which Fisher was depicting Cruise announcing his presidential bid and used a deepfake to update it. The video later appeared on his YouTube channel showing the deepfake video split with the original Fisher videos to demonstrate how seamless deep fake was.

Ume is among the team of machine learning visual expert experts and artists that are creating high-quality deepfake videos. He is among the Deep Voodoo Studio team, which is a dream deepfake team assembled by South Park creators Matt Stone and Trey Parker. From Ume’s professional website he indicates that he creates the craziest videos, and he loves humor. He says his talents are the eye for perfection and high-quality standards. Ume prefers to finish something he is proud of rather than quick garbage.

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