University of Twente Student Theses


Deepfakes in Use : Rethinking the Infopocalypse through Postphenomenology and Wittgenstein

Stellinga, L (2022) Deepfakes in Use : Rethinking the Infopocalypse through Postphenomenology and Wittgenstein.

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Abstract:This thesis is an exploration of the societal impact of deepfake technology, with a focus on the so-called Infopocalypse. Deepfakes are convincing fakes of various types of digital media content, achieved through the application of Machine Learning systems. There are numerous concerns that can be raised with respect to the rising prominence of deepfakes in the digital landscape, but perhaps the most alarming concern refers to the belief that deepfake technology will irreversible blur the lines between wat can be considered ‘real’ and what can be considered ‘fake.’ This concern is captured in popular discourse by the notion of the Infopocalypse. While I believe that this notion is fueled by legitimate concerns, I suggest that it is lacking with regard to its philosophical underpinnings. I argue that a proper analysis of the impact of deepfake technology is based on an understanding of technologies as technologies in use. This can be achieved through the application of notions from the field of Postphenomenology, and insights from a Wittgensteinian understanding of technology use. Combined, these perspectives lead to an appreciation of deepfakes as mediating human experience of digital media, and as necessarily embedded in social and cultural contexts.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:02 science and culture in general, 08 philosophy
Programme:Philosophy of Science, Technology and Society MSc (60024)
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