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Fortifying Community Truth in the Age of Generative AI and Synthetic Media in Africa

Between March 22 and 23 2023, WITNESS hosted journalists, fact-checkers, technologists, content creators, human rights defenders and other community activists from different parts of Africa in Nairobi, Kenya, to identify, discuss and prioritize threats, solutions and opportunities from synthetic media.

This workshop in Nairobi was part of ongoing efforts at WITNESS to engage with partners globally, including the 2019 workshops in Pretoria and Brazil, as well as South East Asia and the United States in 2020, and other in-person and online consultations on deepfakes and synthetic media since.

WITNESS’s ‘Prepare, Don’t Panic’ initiative aims to intervene early in the synthetic media ecosystem, focusing on its infrastructure, tools, and policy and legislative aspects. Our work seeks to ensure that the continuous development of synthetic media reflects an understanding of the key threats, solutions, and opportunities prioritized by individuals and communities globally who have experienced human rights violations similar to those emerging in the ‘age of synthetic media.’ These individuals are both most at risk and yet marginalized from the spaces that shape this emerging technology.