Keanu Reeves refuses to have his performance altered by "scary" deepfakes

No AI editing for this guy.
Loukia Papadopoulos
Keanu Reeves at an event
The one and only Keanu Reeves

Jason Kempin/Getty Images  

Last month, we brought you the news that deepfake AI will let Tom Hanks play his younger self in his latest movie. That is one move Matrix actor Keanu Reeves will not be doing.

In an interview with Wired released on Tuesday, the famous actor said he has a clause in all his contracts stating that his performances cannot be altered by AI or deepakes.

A tear added

“Yeah, digitally. I don’t mind if someone takes a blink out during an edit,” Reeves told Wired.

“But early on, in the early 2000s, or it might have been the 90s, I had a performance changed. They added a tear to my face, and I was just like, ‘Huh?!’ It was like, I don’t even have to be here.”

In fact, the actor expressed being fearful of technology that could change his performance to the degree that AI and deepfakes have done for other actors.

“What’s frustrating about that is you lose your agency. When you give a performance in a film, you know you’re going to be edited, but you’re participating in that,” Reeves said.

“If you go into deepfake land, it has none of your points of view. That’s scary. It’s going to be interesting to see how humans deal with these technologies.”

AI-generated art

Reeves even had some interesting opinions on AI-generated art and its implications for the future.

“People are growing up with these tools: We’re listening to music already that’s made by AI in the style of Nirvana, there’s NFT digital art,” Reeves explained. “It’s cool, like, Look what the cute machines can make!”

“But there’s a corporatocracy behind it that’s looking to control those things. Culturally, socially, we’re gonna be confronted by the value of real, or the non-value. And then what’s going to be pushed on us? What’s going to be presented to us?”

In August of 2020, a data scientist at the security company FireEye named Philip Tully made headlines when he generated "hoax Hankses" to see how simple it is to use open-source software from artificial intelligence labs to launch misinformation campaigns. He created several deepfakes of Tom Hanks.

"People with not a lot of experience can take these machine-learning models and do pretty powerful things with them," Tully told Wired at the time. It was reported that the deepfakes, reduced to the size of a thumbnail on social networks, might pass for the real deal.

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