Will synthetic media be a net positive or net negative for society?! An important thorny ethical debate! Co-hosts David Ryan Polgar and Joe Leonardo recently attended the NYC Media Lab Summit where this debate happened on stage. Right after the debate, David and Joe recorded their reflections on the debate.
Here is the description of the debate, written by the NYC Media Lab:
NYCML'18: The Great Synthetic Media Debate
The debate covers whether synthetic media will do more good than harm. What is synthetic media you ask? Manoush Zomorodi, founder at Stable Genius Productions, defines it as everything from "holographic popstars, to new tools that automate workflows, from deep learning techniques used for producing news articles, to highly engaging AI characters". But we've all seen how these tools can be put to nefarious uses by now.
As the debate escalates, niceties are thrust aside and potshots taken. Many great points emerge from each of the brilliant speakers:
Ken Perlin (Director, NYU Future Reality Lab): all art is synthetic media, from Shakespeare's works to Thanos's AI-enabled face, and even as insidious versions surface, we have the right people and community leaders to help us get together as a society and establish truth and rationality.
Eli Pariser (Omidyar Fellow, New America Foundation): all media is synthetic (ex. edited news clips), so we can't divorce the content from those who made it - synthetic media will lead us to question the veracity of things and look at the author for answers.
Matthew Hartman (Partner, Betaworks Ventures): there are few good instances of synthetic media out there, a lot of "nice to have" ideas, but the examples we see out in the world today have definitely done more harm than good.
Karen Kornbluh (Senior Fellow for Digital Policy, Council on Foreign Relations): major entities have always tried to trick us (ex. oil companies "hacking" climate scientists, Russia's disinformation campaigns), but while we can mitigate all this, we've lost the will to work as a society and make tech work for us.
FUNNY AS TECH
Funny as Tech tackles the thorniest issues in tech with the help of experts. Each week, tech ethicist David Ryan Polgar and comedian Joe Leonardo invite a guest to take a deep dive into a complex tech issue that is tripping up society. The show has dealt with AR, VR, AI, IoT, diversity in tech, tech addiction, media literacy, future of work, and much more. Previous guests have included CNN's Laurie Segall, Baratunde Thurston, Nir Eyal, Manoush Zomorodi, Douglas Rushkoff, Joe Lubin, Tracy Chou, Bridget Carey, and Chuck Nice. Funny as Tech also performs on the road with conferences and special events. Have a question? Info@FunnyAsTech.com
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