Deep Fake Module

In this module we will investigate and experience deepfakes through some video and text narratives. The goal is to think about the implications of deepfakes for society and the role of developers in creating these digital artifacts.


Technological advancements have made it possible for anyone with an internet connection to access a seemingly infinite bank of knowledge with just a few clicks. This great stride forward has allowed information to spread faster and wider than ever before. Centuries ago, knowledge was passed mainly by word of mouth, or by books for those who could read and access them. On account of the great leaps made to get to where we are, people commonly refer to this time period as the Information Era. As technology has continued to progress though, more and more means of spreading misinformation have risen. As we saw in the Cambridge Analytica scandals of the 2016 elections and the court proceedings that followed, social media can be used to spread false information at dangerous rates. Deepfake technologies have popped up recently, a method of using artificial intelligence to create “synthetic media.” With growing prevalence, deepfakes have entered the AI spotlight and face growing scrutiny for their potential use in manipulating and misrepresenting reality. In order to move forward with this technology we need to consider how to best use and manage it.

Before our meeting

  1. Please, answer this short concept check. - approx. 5 minutes

  2. Watch "In the Event of a Moon Disaster" - 6 minutes

  3. Read this introductory narrative on deepfakes - Deepfakes 101 - approx. 15 minutes

  4. Watch Danielle Citron's TED talk on the implications of Deepfakes to democracy. - 13 minutes

During our Meeting

We will work in trios to discuss the implications of deepfakes and developer's roles on the development of this type of technology.

  1. Spend a few minutes experiencing these deepfakes put together by MIT Media Labs.

  2. Brainstorm and take notes about these discussion prompts.

  3. Select one person from your group to report your findings back to the entire class when we return from breakout rooms.

After we meet

  1. Please, answer this short concept check

  2. For a critical perspective on the video we watched in the pre-meeting activity, watch this documentary by Scientific American.

  3. And here are some additional resources for further readings:

Inside the strange new world of being a deepfake actor: There’s an art to being a performer whose face will never be seen - MIT Technology Review

Deepfakes and the future of the film industry - Premium Beat

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