Nicolas Cage says he’s ‘terrified’ of AI: ‘They’re just going to steal my body and do whatever they want with it’

In an interview with The New Yorker published on Monday, Cage voiced his concerns about having his likeness manipulated by AI after sharing that he was going to “get a scan done” for a show and a movie he was working on.

“Well, they have to put me in a computer and match my eye color and change — I don’t know. They’re just going to steal my body and do whatever they want with it via digital AI,” Cage told The New Yorker. “God, I hope not AI. I’m terrified of that. I’ve been very vocal about it.”

He went on to share his discomfort with the direction that creative industries are heading toward.

“And it makes me wonder, you know, where will the truth of the artists end up? Is it going to be replaced? Is it going to be transmogrified? Where’s the heartbeat going to be?” Cage said.

What’s more concerning is that studios can have control over his likeness even after he dies, he added.

“I mean, what are you going to do with my body and my face when I’m dead? I don’t want you to do anything with it!” he said.

The “National Treasure” actor is no stranger to having his likeness manipulated for a film.

In November 2023, the actor told Yahoo Entertainment that his Superman cameo in “The Flash” was different from what he had filmed.

“First and foremost, I was on set,” Cage said. “What I was supposed to do was literally just be standing in an alternate dimension, if you will, and witnessing the destruction of the universe.”

But that wasn’t the scene he saw in the final movie.

“When I went to the picture, it was me fighting a giant spider. I did not do that. That was not what I did,” Cage said.

The actor said he wasn’t aware of what had happened, although he doesn’t think it was AI.

But then he offered his thoughts on AI: “AI is a nightmare to me. It’s inhumane. You can’t get more inhumane than artificial intelligence.”

The use of AI in Hollywood has been a controversial topic in recent years and was a key issue of contention during the 2023 SAG-AFTRA strike, which lasted 118 days.

Cage isn’t the only actor who has spoken up against the use of AI in Hollywood.

In September 2023, Sean Penn argued that studio execs who want to create AI versions of him should be willing to let him do the same to their daughters.

“So you want my scans and voice data and all that. OK, here’s what I think is fair: I want your daughter’s, because I want to create a virtual replica of her and invite my friends over to do whatever we want in a virtual party right now. Would you please look at the camera and tell me you think that’s cool?” Penn told Variety.

And not just the acting industry is up in arms over AI replacing jobs.

A 2023 Goldman Sachs report found that generative AI could lead to “significant disruption” in the labor market and affect around 300 million full-time jobs globally. The study also found that white-collar workers, particularly US legal workers and administrative staff, are most likely to be affected by new AI tools.

A representative for Cage did not immediately respond to a request for comment sent outside regular business hours.

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Amanda Goh