Construing the Other in a deepfake and infodemic era: A discussion with youth | Naffi’s Keynote speech at the 24th International Congress of Personal Construct Psychology
Construing the Other in a deepfake and infodemic era: A discussion with youth
Nadia Naffi is an Assistant Professor of Educational Technology at Université Laval in Quebec City, Canada. She holds the Chair in Educational Leadership in Innovative Pedagogical Practices in Digital Contexts – National Bank and co-leads the Education and Empowerment axis of the International Observatory on the Societal Impacts of AI and Digital Technologies (OBVIA). In her talk, Naffi will share the preliminary results of the research project she leads to investigate how youth construe themselves and the Other in a deepfake and infodemic era. Funded by Canadian Heritage and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC)’s Joint Initiative for Digital Citizen Research, this project examines youth’ perception of the influence of disinformation, namely the deepfake phenomenon, on critical issues that matter most in our time and of their agency to counterbalance it. According to the WHO, the COVID-19-related infodemic is just as dangerous as the virus itself. Rumours, myths and exaggerated facts fuel new forms of phobia of the Other, online and offline. Many people of Chinese or East Asian origin were insulted, assaulted, or denied services. Religious, minority, and elite groups were blamed online for its spread. Deepfakes, a specific form of disinformation that uses machine-learning algorithms to create audio and video of real people saying and doing things they never said or did, are moving quickly toward being an important vehicle of disinformation. It’s expected that people will use deepfakes to cyberbully, spread hate speech, and incite violence, to name a few. Detecting and fighting this form of disinformation is of the utmost urgency.