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In Conversation: The Last Days of Reality

Conversation on AI with Martin Adolfsson, Martin Gelin & Michelle Santiago Cortés

An AI-generated image of a crowd of people holding up smartphones to take photos of a concrete wall

About the Event

We invite you to a conversation between artist Martin Adolfsson, creator of the anti-social media project Minutiae, and the award-winning journalist and author Martin Gelin, who has covered tech and democracy from Silicon Valley and across the world for two decades. The conversation will be moderated by writer Michelle Santiago Cortés.

This will be an evening of vibrant, interactive dialogue on the future of images and the digital public sphere, as we head toward the disruptive changes driven by generative AI, and a crucial year in global politics with elections affecting almost half of the world’s population.

Trust is the glue that holds society together. Without trusting each other, without believing that images we see around us are real and true, we can’t function collectively.

So, what happens when that trust is challenged by a tsunami of generative AI? When lines are blurred between real and fake images? When social media feed us an ever-increasing cocktail of polarizing content, rage bait and synthetic videos, to keep us scrolling a little longer?
We are now living through a crisis in trust. An increasing number of people no longer trust media, and millions every day fall for fake images and videos on social media. In only a few years, 98 percent of all images on the internet will be “synthetic” – created by generative AI tools.
How will the AI revolution shape the future of photography and human understanding of the world around us?

• Artist Martin Adolfsson is the founder of Minutiae, and has worked on projects dealing with art, technology and photography for over two decades. He is focused on the shared commonalities across the political, religious, and geographical divides, and how photography might help us overcome this divide and see the world differently. His work with Minutiae has been featured in the Financial Times, Wired and Vice.

• Journalist Martin Gelin has written about the intersection of culture, politics and technology for The Guardian, The Washington Post, and The New York Times, and he covered Silicon Valley for many years as a US Correspondent for Dagens Nyheter. He is an award-winning author of eight books, and his forthcoming book on soft power will be published internationally next year. Martin has been invited to talk about tech and democracy at conferences and universities from Washington DC to Hong Kong, Taiwan and India.

• Moderator Michelle Santiago Cortés is a Puerto Rico-born and New York-based writer and teacher. Her essays on digital culture and life online have appeared in The Cut, Dirt, i-D, Lux Magazine and Art Review. She has also studied the histories and intersections of art and technology at the School of Poetic Computation.

Photo Credit: Created in Midjourney