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Tech Valley, NY /

What is real? Machine Learning and fake realities

Troy Innovation Garage 24 4th St , Troy, NY 12180 (map)

We are entering a time as a recent CNN article highlighted, “When seeing is no longer believing.” While some media content may appear in high-definition to be real and sound authentic, it may in fact be machine generated. Jennifer Finney Boylan in the New York Times asked us to, “Imagine if a doctored video of a politician appeared the day before an election.” Many in the media are sounding the alarm bells about such technology being used for nefarious purposes.

You likely saw the viral videos of at least one DeepFake. Previously, this capability was only done through visual special effects by a team of artists in a movie studio (like when they de-aged Robert Downey, Jr. in Captain America: Civil War), but now with the advances in machine learning we are seeing more and more professional looking results from users at home. This meetup will focus on deep learning-based technologies that create things like DeepFakes, how they work and where we are heading.

We’ll look at examples that range from the comedic (Steve Buscemi’s face on Jennifer Lawrence’s body during a press conference or BuzzFeed having Jordan Peele make President Obama say arbitrary things) to the frightening (putting a person’s face on another doing something bad) to the inspiring (adjusting famous lectures to be in many different languages).

We’ll look at fake video, swapping faces, switching audio. We’ll look at generation of altogether new faces (even imaginary celebrities) and new voices that sound real using speech synthesis.

We’ll look at NVIDIA’s paper, “A Style-Based Generator Architecture for Generative Adversarial Networks” to see how they went from style transfer to photo-realistic artificial faces with intricate control on their creation.

Want to share your project or idea in 5-min rapid talk at this week’s meetup? Want to vote for next meetup topic? Fill out this short survey:


6:30pm - 6:45pm - arrive / socialize

6:45pm - 7:45pm - presentation

7:45pm - 8:00pm - open discussion

8:00pm - 8:30pm - rapid-talks / socialize

All are welcome, whether you are a beginner, an experienced machine learning researcher or data science practitioner or just curious. Also, join our Facebook group to share the latest articles:


Troy Innovation Garage

We are super excited to have our latest meetup at Troy Innovation Garage. Thanks so much to them for letting us use their space.


CNN article “When seeing is no longer believing”

BuzzFeed You Won’t Believe What Obama Says In This Video!

NVIDIA paper A Style-Based Generator Architecture for Generative Adversarial Networks

Jennifer Lawrence-Buscemi

Will Deep-Fake Technology Destroy Democracy? By Jennifer Finney Boylan

Submitted by

Dan-thanksgiving-2016-1_cropped_square_smaller Dan Elton


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