Professor, Heidelberg University
Björn Ommer is a full professor in the department of mathematics and computer science at Heidelberg University and heads the Computer Vision Group. He also has an additional cooptation in the department of philosophy.
Professor Ommer received his PhD from ETH Zurich and then held a postdoc position at UC Berkeley. Björn serves as an associate editor for IEEE T-PAMI and previously for Pattern Recognition Letters. He is a co-director of the Interdisciplinary Center for Scientific Computing (IWR) and the Heidelberg Collaboratory for Image Processing. His research interests include all aspects of Computer Vision and Machine Learning. In particular AI-based semantic scene understanding and image synthesis. Moreover, he is applying this basic research in interdisciplinary projects with neuroscience and the digital humanities.
Machine learning technologies can be used to distort reality and twist facts like never before. Artificial Intelligence enables video and audio productions to offer a completely fabricated ‘reality’. What is more, it has never been so easy or cheap to produce and share such content. The question is, to what extent these so-called “deep fakes” will influence our societies and political processes. Can “deep fakes” tip the scale in tight elections and open the doors of high public office to someone who really doesn’t meet the requirements of the job? Do we see party organisations employing robots to make phone calls in the hopes of getting more votes? Fundamentally, is democracy threatened by “deep fakes”?