Tom Cruise as Ethan Hunt in Mission: Impossible - Dead Reckoning Part 1

It Took a Tom Cruise Movie for Joe Biden To Get Serious About AI Threats

The Biden administration announced that they would finally be doing something to deal with artificial intelligence companies and how they regulate themselves—and we now know the reason for this new initiative.

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According to AP News, Bruce Reed, who is the Deputy White House chief of staff, explained that he had sat down to watch a film with Biden at Camp David one weekend. They’d chosen Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One. The President was apparently “impressed and alarmed” by generative AI before watching the film, but watching the movie seemed to spur him into action by signing an ambitious Executive Order.

“He saw fake AI images of himself, of his dog. He saw how it can make bad poetry. And he’s seen and heard the incredible and terrifying technology of voice cloning, which can take three seconds of your voice and turn it into an entire fake conversation. If he hadn’t already been concerned about what could go wrong with AI before that movie, he saw plenty more to worry about,” Reed said.

The latest Mission: Impossible film, which of course stars Tom Cruise as Ethan Hunt, sees Ethan and his team fight a rogue AI known only as The Entity, a program capable of sinking a Russian submarine, and so much more.

The Executive Order On Safe, Secure, and Trustworthy Artificial Intelligence should be a huge step forward for American citizens and regulate how AI is used, meaning that hopefully, in time, there will be fewer deepfakes —whether it be a president saying something that they didn’t, a fake porno of a celebrity, or a phone call from a ‘kidnapped’ relative demanding ransom. Other issues, like having your art, writing, or identity stolen, which is partly why SAG-AFTRA is currently still on strike, are also being addressed by Biden’s Executive Order.

The president said, “AI is all around us. To realize the promise of AI and avoid the risk, we need to govern this technology.”

It seems somewhat ludicrous that the Christopher McQuarrie-directed action-thriller is what drove the President of the United States to act against AI’s rapid development rather than a deepfake of himself, though perhaps it’s not really a surprise. At least Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One will have played a vital role in bringing about the necessary safeguards … hopefully.

(via AP News, featured image: Paramount Pictures)

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Brooke Pollock
Brooke Pollock is a UK-based entertainment journalist who talks incessantly about her thoughts on pop culture. She can often be found with her headphones on listening to an array of music, scrolling through social media, at the cinema with a large popcorn, or laying in bed as she binges the latest TV releases. She has almost a year of experience and her core beat is digital culture.