On exhibition for Clerkenwell Design Week

On exhibition for Clerkenwell Design Week
SYNTHESISING OBAMA – is the title of the project in which a group of computer scientists from the University of Washington were able to train a neural network to 'learn' Barack Obama's voice and facial movements in order to accurately and convincingly create a video of a 'fake' Obama reading a fake speech. The neural network required weeks of training in order to synthesise Obama but the technology (along with that of other similar projects such as face-swapping neural nets) indicates a future in which such a process could be performed in minutes and would put the credibility and reliability of any video footage at stake. Video is perceived as our most trust-worthy evidentiary media, analysed and poured over by conspiracy theorists, security and police services equally in the hunt for truth in the information. In an age of 'Fake News' where we're asking questions of the objectivity and reliability of all media, the potential for quick, computationally cheap fakery raises concerns today for the reliability of our media.

This project was produced for Dirty Furniture as part of the touring exhibition 'Matter of Fact' in cooperation with Bisley premiering at Clerkenwell Design Week 2018.

For this project the entire original code and supporting libraries are laser-etched in 5pt type on forty-eight sheets of 20X30cm black acrylic so that it can be stored for 40,000 years. Thanks to Dilesh Patel for his help and advice.

04.2018 – Matter of Fact, Clerkenwell Design Week, London
11.2018 – Matter of Fact, Dubai Design Week.

Last updated: 05.2020