Simulation: Deep fakes, image as sacrament, David Beckham in Mandarin and therapy chatbots

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Today’s topic is simulation. We live in an era when digital technology is making it increasingly easy and cheap to create fake but compelling images or videos of people, or even entirely artificial human-like personalities. Machine learning tools and progress in artificial intelligence software means we are closer than ever to things previously only imaginable in science fiction: computer programs which can speak to us like a human or androids which are indistinguishable from real people. In this episode we discuss examples of this kind of tech already in the world, what impact it may have in the future, and how we as Christians should think about these forms of simulated images, relationships and personalities.


Tom Cruise deep fakes on TikTok

Synthesia - the company offering deep fake videos as corporate communications

MyHeritage Deep Nostalgia - a family history DNA company will now use AI to animate your old photos of dead relatives, 'bringing them back to life'

Affectiva - who claim to use AI to analyse human emotional states from looking at their faces

Simulation and Simulacra - the seminal work by Jean Baudrillard

The Truman Show film

The Matrix film



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