Synthetic Media

"Don’t believe everything you see, or hear"

Photo: Getty Images

Photo: Getty Images

Curtis Barnes
22 May 2019,

When it comes to the effect deepfakes and synthetic media may have on democracy, we should be bracing for impact. In this article for Newsroom, Brainbox scholars provide insight on the present and future of democracy in the digital age.

Key points:

  1. In all likelihood, it is now a matter or when, not if the internet becomes saturated with synthesised audiovisual material. Not all of this will be explicitly or deliberately misleading.

  2. Technological solutions may be inadequate to prevent or mitigate harmful effects. As well as this, there is a global shortage of digital forensic experts.

  3. Examples of political confusion and misinformation are already occurring.

  4. There are limits to which law can intervene or provide solution. Ultimately, changes to the way consumers and citizens consume and share information on the internet will be at critical to a healthy democratic future

Manipulated Acosta video is old tech but a new wave

acosta stuff.jpg

Curtis Barnes, Tom Barraclough
9 Nov 2018,

The Acosta incident compels us to think: how can we trust audio-visual information? Curtis Barnes and Tom Barraclough provide comment for Stuff.

Key points:

  1. Traditional video editing has clearly been used to manipulate the Acosta video for political disinformation purposes.

  2. New audiovisual technologies will make it easier and cheaper to create better “fakes” than ever before.

  3. Policymakers need to consider how to prepare people in the midst of a general crisis over information integrity.