Heard about deepfakes? Don’t panic. Prepare
When it comes to synthetic media that uses AI to recreate a voice or a face with life-like and threatening subtlety, we need to adopt a pragmatic approach.
Sam Gregory is an award-winning technologist, media-maker, and advocate. He is Program Director of WITNESS (witness.org) which helps people use video and technology to protect and defend human rights and promote civic journalism. Founded in 1992, WITNESS has worked for 25 years in 100+ countries, supporting critical uses of video to secure accountability, reaching millions of people with skills and tools, engaging technology giants on how their technology harms or makes a difference, and maximizing civic participation via visual and social media.
An expert on new forms of misinformation and disinformation as well as innovations in preserving trust, authenticity and evidence he leads WITNESS’ global activities -- in coordination with technical researchers, policy-makers, companies, media organizations, journalists and civic activists -- aimed at building better preparedness for deepfakes. This includes a recent national-level convening in Brazil. He also currently co-chairs the Partnership on AI’s Expert Group on Social and Societal Influence of AI and is a participant in their Steering Committee on AI and Media Integrity, governing detection challenges for deepfakes.
He has worked on impactful campaigns worldwide, particularly in Latin America and Asia, and advocacy he has supported has engaged decision-makers in the U.S. Congress, the U.K. Houses of Parliament, and the United Nations and contributed to changes in policy, practice and law.
From 2010-18 he taught at the Harvard Kennedy School on participatory media and human rights. He is currently on the Advisory Board of First Draft and the Technology Advisory Board of the International Criminal Court, and was previously a UBS Global Visionary, Young Global Leader of the World Economic Forum (2012-17), and a Future for Good Fellow of the Institute for the Future. He earned a BA from Oxford University and a Masters in Public Policy from the Harvard Kennedy School, attending as a Kennedy Memorial Scholar.