StudiNight #6: Deepfakes – Risks and Opportunities

06.07.2023: Deepfakes – Risks and Opportunities (this event will be held in English)

KI Makerspace invites you to another talk in our series “KI im Gespräch” / “AI in debate” next Thursday the 6th of July at 7p.m. This time, we will be dealing with the topic “Deepfakes - risks and opportunities”. There will be a 30-minute moderated discussion followed by the opportunity for everyone to join in the discussion and ask questions. We invite all our guests to stay for finger food and drinks after the talk. For everyone who would like to dive into the deepfake technology themselves, they are welcome to try out some state-of-the-art technology at the KI Makerspace and create their own deepfakes (of themselves). 

Deepfakes have increasingly become part of the public discourse as technological possibilities progress and thus enable more realistic and manifold applications based on AI. Deepfakes are manipulated or synthesized media, that amongst others encompass generated images and videos of people or audio recordings used to faithfully replicate voices. Just like many other AI applications, deepfakes introduce a lot of possibilities but also risks. Graphic deepfakes employed for visual effects in entertainment can just as well be used to spread disinformation and substantiate conspiracy theories. Auditory deepfakes can be used in a historical and educational context to imitate conversations with deceased persons but can also be used to fabricate another identity and trick people. Face swaps in pornographic contents, identity theft, blackmail, and falsification of evidence also count as a part of the crimes facilitated by deepfakes. This poses the question of how we can prevent the misuse of these technologies. What ethical and legal issues do deepfakes bring with them, especially regarding the privacy of every single one of us and the implications for our democracy? Together with our guests Maria Pawelec and Tim Rebig, we will discuss the risks and opportunities deepfakes introduce.  

Maria Pawelec has a background in political science and is a research associate at the International Center for Ethics in the Sciences and Humanities (IZEW) at the University of Tübingen. Her research centers on the prevention of digital disinformation campaigns by security authorities, as well as on the political, ethical, and societal implications of deepfakes and the opportunities for their governance. 

Tim Rebig is currently doing his masters in Machine Learning at the University of Tübingen. In his studies he has chosen to focus on generative models and virtual humans. His start-up idea for AI generated application images was caught up by the rapid technological progress that now allows everyone with little to no knowledge to create deepfakes of themselves and others. Some virtual avatars that Tim generated found application in our “Surveillance Cell” project that was part of the exhibition Cyber and the City. Here, visitors entering the former telephone booth are guided through the exhibit by synthetically generated narrators.   

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