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April 16, 2019 – Fakes Aren’t Funny – with Tom Keenan

April 16, 2019 @ 6:00 pm - 9:00 pm

Fakes Aren’t Funny

Why Business Needs to Address Image Manipulation Now

About Our Topic

I once asked the photo editor of New York Times if he could detect a fake photo. “I could in the past,” he said, “since I could see the marks where the negatives were cut together. But once it’s been through a computer — no way.” Now we have reached the point where video images can be convincingly manipulated to make people say things they would never say in real life. While it’s funny to see Barack Obama say “President Trump is a total and complete dip****”, there are serious implications lurking behind image fakery. Want a free bottle of wine on a flight? You might be able to add the code BVRG to your boarding pass and flash it at the flight attendant. How about proving that your basement was flooded for an insurance claim, except the flood happened in another city. This presentation demonstrates the state of the art in image manipulation, then explores some of the areas where it may undermine our business trust infrastructure. A system for image validation, which combines digital signatures (a la PhotoDNA) with a private (permissioned) blockchain is proposed and some of the issues behind implementing it are explored.

About Our Presenter

Tom Keenan combines a deep technical knowledge with lively insights into the social and cultural aspects of technology. He was educated at Columbia University, receiving BA, M.Sc., MA and Ed.D. degrees in Philosophy, Mathematics, Engineering and Education. He is a popular professor of Environmental Design and Computer Science at the University of Calgary, a Fellow of the Canadian Information Processing Society and the Canadian Defence and Foreign Affairs Institute, and a Research Fellow of the Centre for Military Security and Strategic Studies. Tom taught Canada’s first computer crime course, in 1974, and was involved in drafting that country’s inaugural computer crime legislation. He has been an expert witness in civil and criminal cases including one involving claimed “Internet defamation”.

He is the author of over 500 academic papers, book chapters, presentations and articles, and has spoken on five continents to academic audiences, major conferences and the general public.  His latest book, Technocreep ( dissects how technology is becoming creepy in hidden ways that are difficult for most people to understand. It has recently appeared in the top ten on in categories including Civil Rights and Liberties, Technology & Society, and Social Aspects of Technology.

Tom’s prolific work in the media ranges from being the National Technology Correspondent for Business Edge News Magazine to writing a syndicated Men’s Health column that appears in the Calgary Herald and other Postmedia newspapers.  He is a member of the Psychology Today panel of experts and blogs regularly on the intersection between the human mind and technology. A regular guest on a number of TV and radio programs, he has been interviewed by the San Francisco Chronicle, the New York Daily News, Singapore Straits Times, Forbes,  the New York Post, National Public Radio, CBC Television’s The National and CTV’s Canada AM.

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April 16, 2019
6:00 pm - 9:00 pm
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