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What are Facial Recognition and Deepfakes?

Digital Maker Collective at Camberwell Playground
Digital Maker Collective at Camberwell Playground
Digital Maker Collective at Camberwell Playground
Written by
Post-Grad Community
Published date
08 January 2020

By Neeraja Dhorde, Post Grad Community Ambassador, Camberwell college of Arts (MA Graphic Design Communication).

A meetup took place on Wednesday, 8 January at the Camberwell Playground for the group discussion of ‘WHAT ARE FACIAL RECOGNITION AND DEEPFAKES’. Organised by the UAL Digital Maker Collective (DMC), this was the first meet up which is to be followed by many more. It was attended by current UAL students from all the five campuses, UAL alumni and the staff members of UAL. The interesting part was that everyone was from varied backgrounds and had a wide range of subject knowledge which gave a pathway to skill sharing amongst the group.

The discussion started with the introduction by Chris Follows, Manager and Researcher of Emerging Technologies and Maria Than, who is an alumni of Camberwell College of Art, speaking about the technological implementations of deepfakes and facial recognition. The key intention behind the discussion was to merge the world of art and the tech and explore further possibilities with respect to surveillance and deepfakes.

After the introduction and the presentation about both the topics, the group was divided into two, one for surveillance and the other for deepfakes. The next step was to explore the creative side of both the technologies.


The discussion was taken further by sharing experiences about the data, AI, emerging technologies related to surveillance, government, tech companies, films, and how people are reacting to these changes. There was a debate on ‘Since data is becoming the biggest asset of the tech companies, is it ethical to extract it for free from the users?’ A range of suggestions were presented by the members relating to their own fields of interest.

The event concluded with each group discussing further the topic and building a base for the next meetup.

The next part of the discussion is to take place on Wednesday, 15 January at 6pm.

This meet up is to take shape of a project called #unitounicorns which will a collaboration between UAL students, DMC and various guests from creative and tech industries at Tate Exchange in March 2020.

Find out more about the Digital Maker Collective and the meet ups.

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