Screenshot of a stunning Tom Cruise deepfake on TikTok @deeptomcruise?
For the past few days, these videos have panicked TikTok.
Is it really Tom Cruise playing golf or doing a magic trick, or is it a
Have we really gotten to the point where we can no longer trust our eyes or our ears?
The truth is elsewhere Mulder, or rather between reality and the virtual.
Because if the synthetic face owes a lot to artificial intelligence, nothing would be possible without an actor as similar as he is talented.
Who is probably the American Miles Fisher.
Some details that sell the wick
At first glance, everything is there.
The manic laugh, the gestures, the perfect teeth, the smile… It looks like Tom Cruise.
But on closer inspection, doubt sets in: even if the 58-year-old actor seems to have found the secret of eternal youth, it is more the Tom Cruise of
than of the last
And who suddenly gained about fifteen centimeters.
You have to move forward frame by frame to see some missed connections or visual bugs.
As the golfer takes off his sunglasses, his face is, for a fraction of a second, different, and his hand is slightly transparent.
We can also see his nose behind the glasses.
frame by frame:
- without deepfake on the left, actor / doppelganger Miles Fisher
- then synthetic with df on the right
The transitions are almost perfect #deeptomcruise pic.twitter.com/cn9oG7eitn
- Philippe Berry (@ptiberry) February 27, 2021
The moment Fake_Tom_Cruise puts on his hat acts as a clever transition: the entire middle of the video (the golf swing) is devoid of special effects, which come back at the end when he takes off his glasses.
A very talented imitator combined with "face swapping"
Bluffed, developer Victor Riparbelli, who with Synthesia offers a vast platform for creating video with synthetic avatars, estimates that “90% of realism comes from an imitator of Tom Cruise: hair, voice, clothing, etc.”.
According to him, "the icing on the cake" is a "face swap", a technique that uses artificial intelligence to map two faces and invert them.
There are open source libraries, which the Youtuber Ctrl Shift Face uses to transform Bill Hader into Arnold Schwarzenegger.
If this deepfake by Tom Cruise is so bluffing, it's because “everything is real except the textures of the face,” says Victor Riparbelli.
They are applied over the facial expressions of the impersonator.
Clearly, this is not a 3D avatar created from scratch.
Ditto for language: if it is possible to synthesize it from zero, the result is still far from perfect, as we see in this Obama deepfake created by MIT professor Alexander Amini.
Actor Miles Fisher arguably involved
On the Deeptomcruise profile, there is a link to the Youtube channel of American actor Miles Fisher.
Who has consistently proven in the past that he doesn't need special effects to become Tom Cruise.
On his Instagram profile, we can see that he worked on his swing a year ago.
But above all, on his personal Facebook page, he had already shared a Tom Cruise deepfake two weeks ago.
, he had not yet responded at the time of publication of this article.
But the actor does not do everything.
According to Victor Riparbelli, he “clearly a talented
visual effect artist
” behind productions which must have taken “weeks”.
Worry about deepfake
If technology is used here for entertainment, the potential of deepfake is increasingly worrying public authorities.
At the time of Fake News, a French report warned in 2018 on a technology with the potential to "make anyone say anything, making disinformation undetectable".
And the Tom Cruise video?
Deepware, a platform that detects deepfakes, saw nothing but fire.