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AEF: Daniel Story
November 9 @ 5:00 pm - 7:00 pm
APPLIED ETHICS FORUM · DEPARTMENT OF PHILOSOPHY
‘Digital marionettes: the ethics of nonconsensual deepfakes’
Daniel Story (Cal Poly San Luis Obispo)
Thursday 09 Nov 2023 • 5:00pm–7:00pm • LIBR–201
Abstract: Our social world is increasingly suppurated with nonconsensual deepfakes of all sorts, ranging from comic to artistic to pornographic—and much in between. What is morally problematic about disseminating deepfakes of someone without their consent? Common answers appeal to misinformation, harmful effects, the unauthorized use of a person’s likeness, or systemic injustices. All of these factors are sometimes important. However, I argue that none of these factors get at the fundamental problem. The fundamental problem is that disseminating nonconsensual deepfakes normally violates the target’s right that their social identity not be tampered with—a right which functions to protect a person’s ability to inhabit their social world on their own terms. I develop a framework for thinking about when, and to what degree, disseminating a nonconsensual deepfake violates this right, which appeals to the deepfake’s content, congruity with chosen social identities, distributive context, and phenomenal potency. I then sketch how this framework can be extended to cover the use of other AI tools (e.g., language models) to nonconsensually represent or imitate people.