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Creative Thought Forum Event – Republic of Lies: How conspiracy theories took over American public life @ Hosted online. Register below.
Mar 18 @ 2:00 pm – 3:00 pm


Join journalist and author, Anna Merlan, for an online presentation and live Q&A.

Conspiracy theories have always been a factor in the public discourse of the United States and many other countries. But the past four years have shown the new power that lies and disinformation have, especially electoral and medical conspiracy theories. As we move forward, what role should we expect those types of disinformation and lies to play in our discourse? And how — if at all — can we fight them?

About the speaker:

Anna Merlan is a journalist specializing in politics, crime, religion, subcultures, and women’s lives. Merlan is a reporter at the Special Projects Desk, the investigative division of Gizmodo Media Group. She was previously a senior reporter at Jezebel and staff writer at the Village Voice and the Dallas Observer. Learn more about her 2019 book, Republic of Lies American Conspiracy Theorists and their Surprising Rise to Power.

Photo by Ted Seelie


Creative Thought Forum Event – Deepfakes: commodification, consequences and countermeasures @ Hosted online. Register below.
Apr 8 @ 10:00 am – 11:00 am


Join Giorgio Patrini, the cofounder and CEO of Sensity, an Amsterdam-based cybersecurity company in an exploration of deepfake videos in this Creative Thought Forum virtual talk.

AI-generated audiovisual media has gathered significant attention from the news, social media platforms, security experts and governments alike. Since 2017, these realistic-seeming videos and audio have been referred to as “deepfakes”. The significance of deepfakes is explained by three elements. First, we overview capabilities and accessibility of the technology, and its trend towards commodification. Second, we discuss real-world cases of weaponization and other near-term consequences. Third and finally, we consider the technological countermeasures currently being researchers and the industry.

About the speaker:

Dr. Giorgio Patrini, is Cofounder and CEO at Sensity, an Amsterdam-based cybersecurity company that protects individuals and organizations from visual threats online, such as “deepfakes”. He holds an MEng in Computer Engineering at Milan Polytechnic in 2011, and PhD on Machine Learning from the Australian National University in 2016 with a thesis on the robustness of deep neural networks to noise. He held postdoctoral research positions within the Australian Federal Governments working on privacy-preserving machine learning and at the University of Amsterdam with research on deep generative models. In 2012 he cofounded Waynaut, a startup acquired by lastminute.com
Creative Thought Forum Annual President’s Lecture: Why Things Are The Way They Are with Robert Krulwich @ Hosted online. Register below.
May 5 @ 2:00 pm – 3:00 pm

Join former co-host of Radiolab, Robert Krulwich for this virtual presentation and live Q&A. Krulwich is one of the most original and widely listened to broadcasters in the world. His series, Radiolab, explores “big ideas” and the mysteries of science and life through visceral storytelling. In his talk, Krulwich draws from decades of experience as a special correspondent for ABC News; his regular contributions to Nightline, ABC News Tonight, and Good Morning America; and his role as host and executive editor of PBS’s documentary series NOVA scienceNOW to share insights on where technology can take us and why communities trust the sources they do when it comes to information about potential futures.


This lecture is sponsored by Michele Cook & John Camp and the Creative Thought Forum annual sponsors. 

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