Tom Hanks Sees AI Provisions in SAG-AFTRA as ‘Pause’ on the Issue: ‘They’ll Have to Get to That Again Later On’

The actor himself was the victim of an AI fraud last month

Actor Tom Hanks stands in front of a large projection of astronauts walking on the moon.
Tom Hanks at Lightroom's "The Moonwalkers" in London.

Tom Hanks is convinced that the conversations around the use of artificial intelligence in movies and television have just started.

The two-time Oscar winner, who became a victim of the technology’s misuse when his AI-generated likeness was used in an ad promoting a dental plan in October, told the Financial Times that he thinks the use and abuse of AI requires constant vigilance.

He sees the deal that ended the SAG-AFTRA strike — which includes guardrails on issues like replicating actor images, likenesses and voices without consent — as more of a pause than the end to the impact AI will have on acting.

“They’ll have to get to that again later on,” Hanks said.

The “Forrest Gump” star repeated his previous viewpoint that audiences may care less about the use of AI than performers, calling himself “pragmatic” about the prospect.

“Some people are not going to dig it because it’s not really a real human being, and other people simply aren’t going to care because the story is OK,” he said. “That’s not that different from any type of tool that [has] come into the moviemaking process since sound.”

The comments point to Hanks’ “long view,” or perspective that weaves in his well-known love of history, the report said.

History plays a major role in his current project, “The Moonwalkers,” an hour-long immersive experience that opens Dec. 6 in London, which will offer a new look at past and future voyages to the moon using music and digital projections. He’s taping the material at a site in London noted for its role in the history of entertainment: Abbey Road Studios, where The Beatles recorded the bulk of their work.

Hanks said he has been fascinated by the moon since he was a teenager watching Neil Armstrong take that “giant leap for mankind” in 1969.

“Oh, my God, I [felt] lucky to be alive,” he said. “I was this generation that could talk about this great Rubicon of history.”

But the “Apollo 13” star, who also narrated and co-produced HBO’s 1998 miniseries “From the Earth to the Moon,” has no plans to join his heroes in space by taking up Jeff Bezos’ offer for a ride the tourist rocket Blue Origin.

“Oh, no. I’m good,” Hanks said, agreeing that an 11-minute adventure, which would come at a price tag of $28 million, is not ambitious enough.

One of the hopes Hanks has for the project is to show the rhythm of history.

“If I was going to tell you this: there’s a major war that is occupying the entire populace of the world. The Mideast is in constant crisis. The American political system is so fraught with divisions that families will not sit down at the same table together because of how they voted. The environment is under onslaught and people are worried about how they’re going to pay the rent tomorrow. OK, what year am I talking about — 1969 or 2023?” he asked.

“I don’t know if it’s ever going to happen again in humanity that we’re all watching something that is … so unifying,” he said of that first moonwalk.

Comments

2 responses to “ Tom Hanks Sees AI Provisions in SAG-AFTRA as ‘Pause’ on the Issue: ‘They’ll Have to Get to That Again Later On’”

  1. Kevin Cannon Avatar

    Why don’t reporters in the trades ever tell the real story?Hanks is a union busting carpet bagger! Hanks started UFS/USAN ! The SAG & then SAG-AFTRA parties that forced through the merger of SAG & AFTRA which  abused the destruction of accessible healthcare ,living wage and anemic streaming residuals .Hanks and his party negotiated AMPTP friendly contracts for over a decade.Hanks is the cause of the recent strike and is the main enemy of the SAG-AFTRA Rank& File! Hanks sure lives history and manipulates it daily!

    1. Kevin Cannon Avatar

      Damn spellcheck I meant caused not abused the destruction of etc etc
      See voteforchange.nyc
      for further info

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