Deepfake Tom Hanks dental insurance ad promotion

Occurred: October 2023

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An advert for a dental insurance plan supposedly endorsed by actor Tom Hanks was in fact a fake image manipulated using artificial intelligence (AI).

'There’s a video out there promoting some dental plan with an AI version of me. I have nothing to do with it,' Hanks warned his followers on Instagram, without naming the company or organisation behind the deepfake. The likeness of Hanks appeared to be generated from a 2014 image of the actor owned by the Los Angeles Times, according to Gizmodo

The fracas highlighted the increasing use of deepfake and synthetic media to impersonate celebrities, sometimes in scams, and the difficulty in stopping their creators. Set against strikes over the use of AI in entertainment by members of the Screen Actors Guild and American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA), the incident also underscored general challenges facing the entertainment industry and performers by AI.


Country: USA
Sector: Media/entertainment/sports/arts
Purpose: Promote insurance plan  
Technology: Deepfake - image; Generative adversarial network (GAN); Neural network; Deep learning; Machine learning
Issue: Legality
Transparency: Marketing

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Type: Incident
Published: January 2024