Deepfakes: The Risks and The Opportunities

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Deepfakes: The Risks and The Opportunities


This event will be available live at SEMI, as well as over Zoom. Get to SEMI by 6:30pm to network – and enjoy great pizza and refreshments! All attendees MUST register using the Eventbrite form (see link).

A Deepfake is a photo, video, or audio file that has been digitally altered or created to misrepresent or enhance reality. If AI is trained to detect Deepfakes, of course the detection can only be as good as the suitability of the training data set for the challenge it is facing during inference. At the stage of inference, the AI uses the weights calculated during training to predict Deepfakes.

While working for Reality Defender, and while working closely with its Chief Defender, speaker Benjamin Mencer learned how hard it is to detect Deepfakes even using machine learning. Since the term was coined in 2017, Deepfakes have improved to the point where we may no longer be able to tell the difference between fakes and reality.

In this talk, Benjamin Mencer will describe some consequences of Deepfake technology, as well as new challenges that are arising. He will also describe challenges and solutions to the problems that one may encounter during detection training and inference. Finally, he will give examples of both the risks and the opportunities associated with Deepfakes as they create a space for new advancements in society.

  Date and Time




  • Date: 10 Oct 2023
  • Time: 07:00 PM to 09:00 PM
  • All times are (UTC-08:00) Pacific Time (US & Canada)
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Zoom and in-person via pre-registration (no walk-ins)

  • 567 Yosemite Dr
  • Milpitas, California
  • United States 95035

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Benjamin Mencer of UC Santa Cruz


Benjamin Mencer is a third-year Computer Science undergraduate and Philosophy minor at UC Santa Cruz. This fall he will be working on a project at Stanford SLAC involving Nuclear Fusion and X-Ray research. While working at Reality Defender, Benjamin developed a data pipeline to effectively prepare and form datasets for training. He worked closely with the company’s Chief Defender, as well as with the company’s audio and product teams. Benjamin has spoken at the Asilomar Microcomputer Workshop, and recently joined its Program Planning Team. He has also spoken at the AI/Machine Learning seminar at Stanford SLAC, and in the Stanford EE380 Computer Systems Colloquium.

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