‘You Lose Your Agency’: Keanu Reeves Calls Deepfakes ‘Scary,’ Says His Movie Contracts Forbid Digital Editing

Keanu Reeves took issue with “deepfakes,” artificial intelligence technology that can be used to manipulate video footage, during an interview published Tuesday.

The 58-year-old actor told Wired that he even added a clause to his movie contracts prohibiting studios from digitally altering scenes he’s in. 

“Yeah, digitally. I don’t mind if someone takes a blink out during an edit,” Reeves told the publication. “But early on, in the early 2000s, or it might have been the ’90s, I had a performance changed. They added a tear to my face, and I was just like, ‘Huh?!’ It was like, I don’t even have to be here.”

“What’s frustrating about that is you lose your agency,” the “John Wick” star said on during his rant against deepfakes. “When you give a performance in a film, you know you’re going to be edited, but you’re participating in that.”

He continued: “If you go into deepfake land, it has none of your points of view. That’s scary. It’s going to be interesting to see how humans deal with these technologies. They’re having such cultural, sociological impacts, and the species is being studied. There’s so much ‘data’ on behaviors now.”

Reeves remarked that a teenager asked “who cares if it’s real?” during a recent conversation with the actor, but Reeves thinks going down this road could lead to trouble.

“People are growing up with these tools: We’re listening to music already that’s made by AI in the style of Nirvana, there’s NFT digital art,” Reeves told Wired. “It’s cool, like, ‘Look what the cute machines can make!’ But there’s a corporatocracy behind it that’s looking to control those things,” he said.

“Culturally, socially, we’re gonna be confronted by the value of real, or the non-value. And then what’s going to be pushed on us? What’s going to be presented to us?” Reeves asked. “It’s this sensorium. It’s spectacle. And it’s a system of control and manipulation. We’re on our knees looking at cave walls and seeing the projections, and we’re not having the chance to look behind us.”

The topic of deepfake technology was in the news earlier this month as a popular video game livestreamer issued an apology after he allegedly paid for AI-generated pornography of fellow internet personalities. 

Brandon Ewing, who uses the screen name Atrioc, admitted to paying for AI-generated “deepfake porn” of several female streamers. 

As The Daily Wire previously reported, non-consensual nudity is just one of several controversies related to AI software. The technology has also been used for plagiarizing assignments, passing law, medical, and business school exams, and generating voice clips of celebrities saying offensive things, to name a few.

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