• 243 words
  • 2 minutes to read

DeepDenial was a one-day speculative political activism deepfake workshop I was invited to teach at the Hackers and Designers Summer Academy (a program run out of the Sandberg Institute, the postgraduate programme of the Gerrit Rietveld Academie in Amsterdam).

The workshop was designed for students of varied technical as well as non-technical backgrounds. Participants practiced extracting and organizing data in order to apply a neural network for the purpose of making "deepfakes", or videos with swapped faces.

In the news, deepfake technology initially came to light as it was being used to create abusive explicit content with unwilling face-swapped participants. Concerns are commonly voiced on the potential use of deepfaking for political propaganda. A central aspect of the DeepDenial workshop is the discussion of media ethics, surveillance vs sousveillance, and explorations of defensive propaganda.

By taking a hands-on approach to learn how to process video data for machine learning programs, attendees armed themselves with improved digital literacy and developed a keen sense for discerning tell-tale signs of AI-processed content.

You can find more information about the workshop on the Hackers & Designers website.

Reference materials for the workshop are collected on this Channel.