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17 June 2020, 20:00

The Hmm ON deepfakes

Are deepfakes the newest weapon for spreading fake news? Or is it just harmless fun? Deepfake videos, in which two realities are morphed together, are increasingly circulating on the internet. Tonight we will dive into this internet phenomenon through three different perspectives.

Do you remember Nancy Pelosi stumbling through a speech? Mark Zuckerberg finally confessing to the total control that Facebook exerts over its users and their data? Or Obama calling Donald Trump a complete dipshit? These videos show the possibilities of deepfake technologies. Rapidly spreading through our digital feeds, they’re often seen as a serious concern.

The 2016 U.S. election and the Brexit vote opened the public’s eyes to the influence and consequences of ‘fake news’. Intensifying the impact of fake news, deepfakes pose a new threat to our fragile sense of reality. With the U.S. presidential elections happening this fall, and increasing political polarisation throughout the EU, there are concerns that a convincing deepfake video of a political candidate could harm our democracy.

But is being afraid of deepfake videos a productive attitude? Is the strong influence on elections of ‘fake news’ the problem or are the existing structures of our political systems to blame? And do deepfakes also have creative potential? We invited 3 guests to help find answers to these questions.

The Hmm on …
This is the first edition of a five-part series of focus evenings at Felix Meritis, kindly supported by the Creative Industries fund and Amsterdam Fund for the Arts.

We’re using face filters to make ourselves prettier, track our daily steps on our iPhones, and rely on Google Maps to find our destination. But what exactly is the impact of these technologies? With this five-part series, hosted by Felix Meritis in Amsterdam, we reflect on these playful, serious, and sometimes disturbing developments in internet culture.