upcoming talk on “deep humanities”

I’m presenting a lecture on Nov. 20 at 6pm at Riverside Church (120th St. and Claremont Ave.) entitled “Deep Humanities: Artificial Intelligence and the Ethics of Persuasion.” It’s my first talk on a new research project on the classical antecedents of our contemporary crisis regarding “deepfake” videos, and I argue that we can locate deepfakes in an ancient tradition of using obvious falsehoods in the service of persuasion. At odds with contemporary scientific and analytic approaches to deepfakes, which seek to test their validity by isolating some kind of criterion of authenticity, my rhetorically oriented approach sees deepfakes as examples of character-based persuasion that operate largely outside the considerations of truthfulness and “fact-checking.” I revisit some of the courtroom literature of Cicero, whose use of caricature and impersonation anticipates the strategies underlying deepfakes.

The event is on Riverside Church’s Floor 11, and it is open to the public.