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Visual Scepticism in Post-truth Era

DATATATA Conference, Faculty of Fine Arts, Brno University of Technology, 12 April 2019

How Generative Adversarial Networks (GANs) changed the way we look at the world

Or the necessity of visual scepticism in the post-truth era


This paper compares the manipulation of visual media before and after the rise of AI-generated synthetic media, taking the breakthrough of GANs (Generative Adversarial Networks) as an essential landmark. It evaluates the accessible tools and strategies for detecting manipulated visual media and the authentication of information. Presented is an argument that there is currently no viable technological solution to detecting synthetically produced media, that would reverse the state of visual scepticism, in which the unrestricted access to information paradoxically leads to a new dark age of confusion and communication chaos. The solution, for now, lies in supporting critical thinking, engaging in offline public discussion and most importantly - familiarizing oneself with the production tools of synthetic media.


synthetic media, artificial intelligence, neural networks, GANs, deepfakes, visual media, visual communication, manipulation, disinformation, visual scepticism