If an artificial intelligence-created replica of a real person is called a deepfake, is the inverse a “deepreal”?
Arnold Schwarzenegger—former governor of California, blockbuster action movie star, professional bodybuilder, and author—provided sage advice and, ultimately, a celebrity encounter to unsuspecting patrons at Gold’s Gym in Venice, California. He was pretending to be an AI chatbot—a poetic scenario for the one-time “Terminator” star who once embodied a deadly cybernetic assassin from a post-apocalyptic future where an AI called Skynet rules the Earth.
“This was a fun trick I pulled on a lot of people who thought they were asking advice from an AI trained by my new book,” Schwarzenegger explained on Threads on Thursday. “But Arnold Intelligence wasn’t your average machine.”
Told to sit before a large box with a waveform monitor, the gym patrons are told they will be speaking with a “vocal approximation” of Schwarzenegger. His voice offers, “You can ask me absolutely anything.”
Inside the box, however, was the real Schwarzenegger, dispensing advice generated not by a large language library, but from the brain inside the movie star’s living, breathing self.
The gymgoers sought advice on motivation, developing a personal vision, and, of course, professional bodybuilding.
One woman asked, “Do you have advice on navigating a marriage?”
“I would not consider myself an expert in this subject,” Schwarzenegger quipped, himself a divorced father of four who split with television journalist Maria Shriver in 2011. “Pay attention to what the other person feels, not just how you feel.”
“If there’s one thing you would tell a first-time parent, what would it be?” a pregnant woman queried.
“Relax and just enjoy the moment,” he replied. “And, let me explain this myself…”
He then opens the door and reveals himself to the various star-struck and delighted advice seekers. One gets a recreation of a famous movie line, “Get to the chopper!”
The event was staged Sept. 29, explains Adweek, the brainchild of New York ad agency Orchard Creative. The moral, Orchard CEO Barney Robinson said in a prepared statement, was that Schwarzenegger “believes in human beings’ limitless potential and genuinely wants to help us all achieve it.”
Schwarzenegger is no stranger to playing pranks, often leveraging his celebrity for charitable causes.