Eastern European spectre with a penchant for art, literatures, languages, film, and philosophy currently haunting a university slightly north of London.

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    Latest Topics


    Issues of Consent, Representation, and Exploitation in the Era of Deepfake Pornography

    In the era of rapid advances in artificial intelligence and computer graphics, it is difficult for an untrained observer to be able to avoid, as well as recognise as such, an altered image, and now increasingly also an altered video. Known colloquially as "deepfakes," a portmanteau of "deep learning" artificial intelligences and "faked imagery", these seemingly seamlessly altered videos present challenges for notions of authentic representation, and much has already been written about their potential applications to and influencing of political discourses. Still, several aspects of "deepfakes," potentially made manifest both through high-end editing software and open access mobile applications, remain critically underexamined.
    Most evident among these is perhaps the instantiation of "deepfake pornography," which relies on the digital superimposition of real people’s, almost exclusively women’s, faces and voices onto pornographic videos, predominantly for the consumption of male users. Often, the superimposed images and sounds come, or are alleged to come, from images that are considered part of the public domain, have been posted publicly by the individuals depicted or ones in possession of copyright, and in other ways allow for transformative use. The implication is, perhaps, that women’s bodies are to be seen as physical objects that, in an era of the incresing accessibility of image- and video-altering software, may as well be digitally recreated so as to be consumed in a way that circumvents any pesky discussions of consent. It is therefore necessary to take a closer look at deepfake technologies along with the exploitative, often violently mysoginistic as well as cisheteropatriarchal and white supremacist social and legal practices that commonly underlie their predominant uses.

    • I would suggest dropping "pornography" and just focus on three issues associated with "deepfake videos: 1) How extensive an issue is this? 2) How authentic-looking are these videos and can they easily be discredited? and 3) Do they influence public attitudes or voting? – Joseph Cernik 8 months ago
    • That, too, constitutes an interesting discussion, but one that is already receiving extensive critical and academic attention, hence the idea of expanding it by discussing one of the most prominent yet critically underexplored applications of deepfake technology, deepfake online pornography. – HangedMaiden 8 months ago
    • Interesting topic – EdwardMcCarroll 8 months ago

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    Latest Comments

    I don’t question that a depiction of a naked body, any naked body, can be art, but at the same time, it makes me fairly uncomfortable that Mann’s is the kind of art that so clearly depicts individuals who could not have given their full and informed consent to being depicted and having their images made publicly available at the time of their exhibition and publication. It’s something that makes me uncomfortable about a great deal of art depicting existing individuals, regardless of whether they are nude or not, and something I clearly need to think about at much greater length in order to sort out the intricacies of my own position on.

    The Controversial Art of Sally Mann

    I am sure the frequent association of cats with femininity and dogs with masculinity also has absolutely nothing to do with the way it seems much more culturally acceptable to dislike cats than dogs.

    The Truth About Cats and Artists

    I also find it interesting that cats are so frequently depicted, in all kinds of arts, in such a gendered way, usually associating them with the feminine and femininity.

    The Truth About Cats and Artists

    I think there’s also another, perhaps more foundational way in which Ready Player One is incredibly regressive, namely that it’s fundamentally about fetishising and meticulously replicating, rather than creatively interacting with, enriching and expanding existing narrative universes, tropes, styles or archetypes. As such, it tends towards reinforcing and replicating the power structures that underlie these existing narratives and their creation, consumption and interpretation. As I’ve seen it put by another poster, Ready Player One is “proudly, aggressively, and oppressively non-transformative” (http://ponyregrets.tumblr.com/post/169560632539/okay-friends-as-ready-player-one-comes-into-the).

    Ready Player One: The Progressive Gaming Narrative That Could Have Been

    I think this could have used another thorough read before being posted. I find it difficult to follow the argumentation, partially because it relies on unsubstantiated and often nonsensical generalisations (e.g. “a ‘need it now’ generation in Millennials and their predecessors, Generation Z” both provides a questionable characterisation of Millenials and confuses their successors with their predecessors) and partially because there are so many errors and awkward expressions throughout (e.g. “have specific to specific channels” is clearly missing a fragment; “the negative impacts of binge watching culture can be contributed to” is clearly confusing attributed with contributed; and so on).

    Netflix and Impact