Bruce Willis is allowing himself to be deepfaked so his 'digital twin' can continue to act after his aphasia diagnosis, report says
- Bruce Willis has allowed his likeness to be used by a deepfake company called Deepcake.
- According to a statement from the actor, he sees it as a "great opportunity" to "go back in time."
Bruce Willis may have found a way to return to acting by partnering with an artificial intelligence (AI) company specializing in deepfakes.
A deepfake created by US firm Deepcake has appeared in a European phone advertisement, according to The Telegraph. In a statement from the actor shared on Deepcake's website, the 67-year-old expressed a hope that the technology could provide him a way to keep working.
"It's a great opportunity for me to go back in time. The neural network was trained on content of 'Die Hard' and 'Fifth Element', so my character is similar to the images of that time," Willis said.
"With the advent of the modern technology, I could communicate, work and participate in the filming, even being on another continent," he added. "It's a brand new and interesting experience for me."
Deepfakes are created when AI is programmed to replace one person's likeness with that of another in recorded video.
While there have been reports that the actor "sold" his face and likeness to Deepcake, a representative for the company denied the claims.
"Bruce Willis didn't sell any rights to us simply because it's not possible for us to have them in the first place," they said.
Representatives for the actor told Insider he has no partnership or agreement with Deepcake.
It comes after his family announced he was stepping away from his acting career in March following a diagnosis with the language and communication disorder aphasia.
At the time, Bruce's eldest daughter Rumer Willis said on Instagram that the brain disorder had affected her father's "cognitive abilities" to the point where he was unable to keep acting.
She added that it was a "really challenging time" for the family.
While Willis, known for his roles in the "Die Hard" franchise, may not appear in new films himself, the actor's statement indicates that having a deepfake "digital twin" could potentially mean a version of him could keep appearing.
As Dave Johnson reported for Business Insider, deepfake technology has increasingly been used for diverse purposes, including in entertainment and politics. However, as the technology has developed and become more sophisticated, more experts have expressed concern for how it could spread misinformation and spark serious threats to the public.
An example includes when a Belgian political party released a video of former US president Donald Trump giving a speech calling on Belgium to withdraw from the Paris climate agreement in 2018. Trump never made that speech, however – it was a sophisticated deepfake.
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