It isn’t just deepfakes that Reeves has an issue with. Although he is an advisor for a metaverse initiative called the Futureverse Foundation, he also told WIRED that the current direction of what is considered the mainstream metaverse is a terrifying one. The actor argues that the normalization of such projects could lead to some dire consequences:
“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. 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. Culturally, socially, we’re gonna be confronted by the value of real, or the nonvalue. And then what’s going to be pushed on us?”
Reeves really does make an important point. Like cryptocurrency, AI and the metaverse are not inherently scummy things, as they can theoretically lead to some cutting-edge ways to assist humanity’s uniquely creative spirit. However, it seems like the vast majority of AI and metaverse projects want to replace that humanity altogether. In the case of deepfakes, the passion and grit that leads to a powerful screen performance can be easily replaced by an emotionless mask. Tying this into the actor’s body of work, no machine could do the impressive action stunts that Reeves and the other actors in the “John Wick” series do. Without that human and emotional touch, it’s nothing.
“It’s this sensorium. It’s spectacle,” remarked Reeves, “and it’s a system of control and manipulation.”
But hey, maybe he just doesn’t want to be deepfaked because he’s immortal. What do we know?