The Hollywood Section of the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers will examine the promise, and potential peril, of digital humans and so-called deepfakes at its monthly meeting November 19, in Hollywood. Held in tandem with the Radio, Television, Digital Newsroom Association, the free event will include a panel discussion of experts in the emerging field of synthetic humans.
Deepfakes are believable human images synthesized through artificial intelligence techniques from completely real and totally non-real or fake elements. In Hollywood, digital humans, convincing enough to fool audiences, have been the Holy Grail of visual effects for decades. Both techniques are designed to trick the viewer, but, whereas digital humans are constructed to entertain, deepfakes can be used to mislead and misinform, often for non-entertainment purposes.
SMPTE Hollywood and the RTDNA will offer a totally real presentation on deepfakes and digital humans. The panel will describe the history of digital humans and deepfakes, the challenges involved in creating them convincingly, and if/how news and entertainment professionals can spot a deepfake.
Presenters include Chaos Group Lab head of research and development Christopher Nichols, who leads the Digital Human League, sponsor of the open source Wikihuman; Corridor Digital’s Niko Pueringer, who has produced short-form Internet content for more than a decade and is an expert in creating and detecting deepfakes; and Shruti Agarwal, a Ph.D. student in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences at University of California, Berkeley, who is conducting research in multimedia forensics.
Freelance journalist Debra Kaufman (USC Entertainment Technology Center, New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Wired, Reuters, Bloomberg American Cinematographer, International Cinematographers Guild Magazine) will moderate the discussion.
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