Artificial Intelligence, or AI, technology is becoming increasingly common on social media, sometimes making it hard to tell real images and videos from artificially generated ones. As the technology improves and becomes more mainstream, one concern is how it can be used to create fake endorsements and misrepresent the opinions of real people.
That scenario played out in one tweet viewed over 5 million times. The tweet, which says it's “Tesla’s first ad,” includes a video that appears to show actor Ryan Reynolds endorsing Tesla.
Did Ryan Reynolds endorse Tesla as seen in this viral video?
- Meet Kevin, the person who produced and posted the video
- The original video as posted on YouTube
- Video analysis
No, Ryan Reynolds did not endorse Tesla as seen in this viral video.
WHAT WE FOUND
A person unassociated with Tesla or Ryan Reynolds created a fake ad using AI to make it sound like Reynolds was endorsing Tesla. The real Ryan Reynolds did not actually endorse Tesla.
The person who created and posted the video is financial advisor and social media influencer “Meet Kevin.” He explained in a follow-up tweet that the ad was made with deepfake AI tech and that Ryan Reynolds wasn’t actually part of it. The description of the video he posted to his YouTube channel also says this.
“This is a fake example of what Tesla's ad could look like,” the description reads. “It's AI-generated Ryan Reynolds.”
Viewers can see the video is made with AI by paying attention to Reynolds at the beginning of the video. The movement of his lips does not completely match up with his speech. Additionally, the only part of his body that moves is his head, which itself has limited movements except for his eyes and mouth, suggesting that the rest of Reynolds’ body is actually a photo.
Based on Reynolds’ pose, the video appears to use Reynolds’ photo from the Mint Mobile website.
Maximum Effort, Reynolds’ media production brand, and Reynolds himself have both criticized Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla and Twitter, in the past for his handling of Twitter.
And when Musk replied to the fake Tesla ad to say “Nice,” Maximum Effort and Reynolds in turn replied to make fun of the original video and Musk. Maximum Effort posted a video that similarly uses deepfake AI technology to create an ad with a fake Musk endorsement for Reynolds’ Aviation Gin. The video, captioned “Two can court disaster with this game,” uses a script strikingly similar to the one in the fake Tesla ad.
Reynolds, mirroring Musk, replied to Maximum Effort’s video with “Nice.”
There is no evidence that Meet Kevin is associated with Tesla in any capacity, and the video has not been posted or mentioned on Tesla’s social media or its website.
Neither Tesla, Maximum Effort nor Reynolds replied to VERIFY’s request for comment.