Deepfakes use artificial intelligence to fabricate video and audio of people doing and saying things they never did or said. Hollywood has used deepfakes in movies, and museums are exploring them as ways to animate famous paintings and bring long-gone artists to life. But the same technology is being used for sexual harassment in cyberspace and threatening to foment chaos in the 2020 election cycle. How do deepfakes work? What lies ahead? What can be done? These issues were explored on September 27, 2019, in two programs organized by the Future of Information Alliance.
Dan Russell, Google’s own guru of “user happiness,” gave a campus talk about his new book “The Joy of Search: A Google Insiders’s Guide to Going Beyond the Basics” on September 26, 2019. This program was organized by the University of Maryland’s Future of Information Alliance and the University of Maryland Libraries.
How can we know our world in the face of efforts to undermine traditional sources of information … and in a time when citizens raise serious concerns about what and whom they can trust? That question was explored on May 15, 2018, in a program organized by the Future of Information Alliance at The Phillips Collection as part of the University of Maryland’s partnership with the museum.
A University of Maryland program in partnership with The Phillips Collection was held on June 6, 2017 to explore the frontiers of virtual reality, augmented reality and immersive storytelling. Three speakers working at the forefront of innovation in these areas discussed how these cutting-edge platforms are being used in fields as diverse and journalism, education, defense and the arts and are serving as engines of empathy and windows into our cultural and environmental heritage.
A panel discussion celebrating the future of information was held on July 8, 2016 at the Harpers Ferry Design Center (HFC) to honor Don Kodak as he steps down from 10 years of leadership at HFC. Over the past 4 years, Don has been an active member of the Future of Information Alliance, helping to host meetings, collaborating with colleagues at the University of Maryland, the Library of Congress, the Smithsonian, the Newseum, and more. A few of these colleagues joined the discussion to explore issues, challenges, and opportunities of the future of information.
Three future-ists discussed the future of virtual reality and innovative imagery: Graham Roberts, Senior Editor at The New York Times; Dan Russell, Google’s Director of User Happiness; and Amitabh Varshney, Director of the University of Maryland’s Institute for Advanced Computer Studies. Leslie Walker, the Visiting Professor in Digital Innovation at the University of Maryland’s Philip Merrill College of Journalism moderated the discussion.
FIA sponsored, along with UMD’s Division of Information Technology and the Campus Visualization Partnership (CVP), a lecture on October 7, 2015 by Dr. JoAnn Kuchera-Morin on the computational framework that she and a team of researchers is developing at the Allosphere Research Facility which will enable the transformation of big and complex data.