It's a well-known fact that as we age, our looks change and time takes its toll on our bodies. For actors, this can mean that they may not be able to play the same roles they once did. But with the advent of artificial intelligence, that's all changing.
A Glimpse into the Past with Harrison Ford
Actor Harrison Ford has been in the industry for decades and is a fan-favorite for his role as Indiana Jones. At 80 years old, he might seem a bit too old to play the swashbuckling adventurer once again. However, a new trailer for the upcoming film Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny offers a glimpse into the past. Harrison Ford explained on CBS’s The Late Show with Stephen Colbert that the film used AI to create a younger version of himself. The technology was able to go through every piece of footage of him, even the stock footage that wasn't printed, to create a younger version of the actor.
Tom Hanks and More Get a Digital Makeover
Harrison Ford isn't the only actor to benefit from AI technology. Tom Hanks, Robin Wright and other cast members will play younger versions of themselves in the film Here, directed by Robert Zemeckis. This is made possible by a tool created by AI company Metaphysic, which can create "high-resolution photorealistic faceswaps and rejuvenating effects on top of actors' performances live and in real-time without the need for further compositing or VFX work." Metaphysic is a world leader in creating AI-generated content that looks real, and the company has just struck a deal with the Creative Artists Agency to develop generative AI tools for talent.
The Start of a Big Change
The use of AI in the film industry is just the beginning of a big change in our economic structure. The technology is becoming more sophisticated, but there are fears that deepfake technology could be weaponized if it falls into the wrong hands.
A Mix of Results
So far, the results of AI rejuvenation in film have been mixed. Some examples include Will Smith in Gemini Man, Robert Downey Jr in Captain America: Civil War, and Michael Douglas in Ant-Man. Samuel L Jackson in Captain Marvel is one of the more impressive examples, where he shed about 25 years and was featured in the entire story.
Some argue that it's better to have a rejuvenated Harrison Ford than to have a different actor play one of his iconic roles. Drexel Heard, a political activist who has worked in Hollywood, says that viewers want to see the same person and not have to go through the jarring experience of seeing a different actor play the role.
An Ethical Quagmire
The use of AI in the film industry is becoming more accessible, and there are concerns about the ethical implications. Government regulators are struggling to catch up, and there are fears that the technology could be used for malicious purposes, such as spreading misinformation. The question remains: How will we cope when we can't trust what we see or hear?