AI-driven synthetic realities and trust: implications for the media and our society

We were thrilled to host an insightful event on July 12, co-hosted by CIS, C4DT and IMI. The event featured a captivating talk by visiting professor Anderson Rocha from the University of Campinas in Brazil on “AI-driven synthetic realities and trust: implications for the media and our society”. Following the talk, we had a stimulating panel discussion with EPFL professor Touradj Ebrahimi and researcher-journalist Gilles Labarthe as the moderator. The panelists shed light on the critical role of trust in navigating the intersection of AI and synthetic realities. This event, which brought together around 40 participants, was a must-attend for anyone interested in the future of technology and its impact on society and the media.


Event video

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In this talk, we discussed how our society is living what is being referred to as Synthetic Realities. We touched upon important technologies that are shaping these new realities, such as ChatGPT, Midjourney, DALL-E 2, StableDiffusion, and others. More importantly, we discussed what kinds of tell-tales can be explored to expose such creations or forgeries, and pinpoint the research challenges ahead and the implications of such fakes for society at large. Finally, we discussed the implications for trust, and the impact on the media and society as a whole in dealing with such new realities.



Prof. Anderson Rocha

Anderson Rocha is a full professor of Artificial Intelligence and Digital Forensics at the Institute of Computing, University of Campinas (Unicamp), Brazil. He is the Director of the Artificial Intelligence Lab,, and was the Director of the Institute of Computing for the 2019-2023 term. He is an elected affiliate member of the Brazilian Academy of Sciences (ABC) and the Brazilian Academy of Forensic Sciences (ABCF). He is an elected two-term member of the IEEE Information Forensics and Security Technical Committee (IFS-TC) and its chair for the 2019-2020 term. He is a Microsoft Research and Google Research Faculty Fellow. In addition, he was awarded the Tan Chin Tuan (TCT) Fellowship in 2016, a recognition sponsored by the Tan Chin Tuan Foundation in Singapore. Finally, he is ranked in the top 2% of the world’s most influential scientists, according to recent studies by and Stanford/PlosOne.


Prof. Touradj Ebrahimi

Touradj Ebrahimi is a professor at EPFL and head of the Multimedia Signal Processing Group. Since 2014, he is the Convenor (Chairman) of the JPEG standardization committee under the auspices of ISO, IEC and ITU. His research activities include visual information compression, media security and multimedia quality of experience assessment. He is a Fellow of IEEE and SPIE, and was recently awarded the IEEE Star Innovator Award in Multimedia. On behalf of JPEG, he received a Primetime Emmy Engineering Award from the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences.



Gilles Labarthe

Gilles Labarthe is a Swiss journalist, reporter and anthropologist (PhD, Journalism & Media Studies, University of Neuchâtel). He has been working as a trainer and researcher since 2007. He teaches in master classes: investigative journalism methods, ethics, media literacy, freedom of information and transparency laws (Academy of Journalism & Media, University of Neuchâtel, 2014-2016; University of Media & Human Rights, Geneva, since 2018). As a scientific collaborator, he has contributed to national and regional research programs focusing on journalistic practices and professionalism (University of Geneva, 2007 and 2017; University of Neuchâtel, 2013-2016). He recently led a study on ongoing projects to promote information of public interest in Swiss media (University of Fribourg, 2021). His PhD thesis was published in 2020: Conducting the investigation. Skills, strategies and tactics of journalists (Mener l’enquête. Arts de faire, stratégies et tactiques d’investigation de journalistes, ed. Antipoden, Lausanne). He is also involved in professional organizations such as Impressum (Swiss Federation of Journalists, committee member) and JournaFonds (Pacte de l’enquête, vice-president).