Research Director, M&C Saatchi World Services
James McLeod-Hatch is the Head of Research and Evaluation of the M&C Saatchi World Services special research team, with 15 years’ experience of research and analysis of conflict zones and developing nations. His career started in political and security risk analysis for AKE Ltd., a company specialising in training personnel working in hostile regions. Following this position, he then spent a total of six years based in Kabul, Afghanistan, where he worked for NATO as a Target Audience Analyst, including one year as Chief Target Audience Analysis.
After NATO, James worked at the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) on a research capacity development project at the Afghan Ministry of Counter Narcotics. He then moved to Yemen, heading up the country office of Lapis, a private Afghan strategic communications company. Following this he spent a couple of years in Myanmar, where he set up his own business, before joining M&C Saatchi World Services in London, UK, where his professional focus is on assessing the effectiveness of the World Services projects. He holds a Russian Studies MA from the School of Slavonic and Eastern European Studies (SSEES), and a BA in Russian and Philosophy from Oxford University.
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”?