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Tom Hanks warns fans of AI ad using his likeness: ‘Beware’

The Oscar-winner has spoken out in the past about the limitless potential of AI or deepfakes that resemble celebrities.
/ Source: TODAY

Tom Hanks is warning his fans about a video that he says uses an “AI version” of him to sell a dental plan. 

The Oscar-winner posted a screenshot on Instagram Sept. 30 from the video featuring an eerily similar image of him.

“BEWARE!!” the 67-year-old actor wrote on top of the image. “There’s a video out there promoting some dental plan with an AI version of me.”

He added, “I have nothing to do with it,” before signing off with his name.

It's unclear where the video originated and what dental plan the video was promoting. Representatives for Hanks did not immediately respond to's request for further comment.

The “Sleepless in Seattle” star has called attention to the dangerous potential of artificial intelligence and deepfakes before. 

In May, he was a guest on the “Adam Buxton Podcast” and spoke about AI likely impacting movies in the future. 

He said films starring AI versions of actors could become “a bona fide possibility.” He also pointed out that the technology allows actors to “re-create themselves at any age.”

“I could be hit by a bus tomorrow and that’s it, but my performances can go on and on and on,” Hanks said. “And outside of the understanding that it’s been done by AI or deepfake, there’ll be nothing to tell you that it’s not me and me alone.”

The “Forrest Gump” actor continued, “And it’s going to have some degree of lifelike quality. And that is certainly an artistic challenge, but it’s also a legal one.” 

He told host Adam Buxton that fans will likely be able to tell the difference, but they might not care. 

Zelda Williams, Robin Williams' daughter, also spoke out against the use of AI Oct. 1 and shared on her Instagram story that she's heard of people wanting to re-create AI models of actors "who cannot consent" to it, like her father, who died in 2014.

"This isn't theoretical, it is very very real," she wrote. "I've already heard AI used to get his 'voice' to say whatever people want and while I find it personally disturbing, the ramifications go far beyond my own feelings."

She said at best, AI re-creations are a "poor facsimile of greater people," but are "at their worst, a horrendous Frankensteinian monster, cobbled together from the worst bits of everything this industry is, instead of what it should stand for."

Her statement relates to the ongoing negotiations over the use of AI in the entertainment industry between SAG-AFTRA and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television. Bargaining table talks regarding the union's strike, which began July 14, resume Oct. 2.

(Comcast, the corporation that owns TODAY’s parent company, NBCUniversal, is one of the entertainment companies represented by the AMPTP.)

@zeldawilliams / Instagram

Hanks isn’t the only celebrity who has had their likeness used without their knowledge to promote a product. 

In October 2022, Oprah Winfrey alerted her fans after her name and photo were included in an ad for weight loss gummies

She posted a video on Instagram confirming she did not endorse the supplement.

“I have nothing to do with weight loss gummies or diet pills, and I don’t want you all taken advantage of by people misusing my name. So please know I have no weight loss gummies,” she said.

In the caption, she wrote, “Fraud alert! Please don’t buy any weight loss gummies with my picture or name on them. There have been social media ads, emails, and fake websites going out and I want you to hear it straight from me, that I have nothing to do with them.”

Winfrey also asked her fans not to engage with the ad to avoid having their personal information possibly compromised.