Not all deepfakes are bad

Metaphysic is a startup that was born out of a Tom Cruise parody account on TikTok, using deepfake technology to make stunning creative ads.


August 10, 2021

At least that’s the premise behind Metaphysic — a startup born out of a TikTok parody account called deeptomcruise.

The company uses deepfake technology to create ads that wouldn’t otherwise be possible. Early examples include:

  • A campaign for Gillette featuring 1989 pre-draft Deion Sanders
  • A campaign for the Belgian Football Association bringing 2 former managers back to life

Good deepfaking takes hard work

Metaphysic co-founder Chris Umé says the process to create deeptomcruise included:

  • 2.5 months training an AI model on images and videos of Cruise
  • Shooting base videos with a Cruise body and voice double (actor Miles Fisher)
  • 2-3 days to combine the footage

The finished product leaves viewers baffled that it’s not the real thing (just watch this Dave Matthews Band cover).

When done right, Umé believes the tech can lead to more creativity…

… but it’s easy to get it wrong.

For instance, a recent documentary about Anthony Bourdain received backlash for not informing viewers about AI-generated dialogue.

As Metaphysic and others work out the ethical guardrails, we’ll be looking out for new deepfake use cases, and of course, more deeptomcruise.

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