Scientist: Sam Gregory

Sam Gregory ESMH ScientistSam Gregory is an award-winning technologist, media-maker and advocate. He is Program Director of WITNESS (, which helps people use video and technology to protect and defend human rights and promote civic journalism. Founded in 1992, WITNESS has worked for 25 years in 100+ countries, supporting critical uses of video to secure accountability, reaching millions of people with skills and tools, engaging technology giants on how their technology harms or makes a difference, and maximising civic participation via visual and social media.
An expert on new forms of misinformation and disinformation as well as innovations in preserving trust, authenticity and evidence, he leads WITNESS’s global activities – in coordination with technical researchers, policymakers, companies, media organisations, journalists and civic activists – aimed at building better preparedness for deepfakes. This includes a recent national-level convening in Brazil. He also currently co-chairs the partnership on AI’s expert group on the social and societal influence of AI and is a participant in their steering committee on AI and media integrity, which governs detection challenges for deepfakes.
From 2010 to 2018 he taught at Harvard Kennedy School on participatory media and human rights. He is currently on the Advisory Board of the non-profit organisation First Draft, and on the Technology Advisory Board of the International Criminal Court, and was previously a Young Global Leader of the World Economic Forum, and a Future‑for‑Good Fellow of the Institute for the Future. He earned a BA from Oxford University and a Masters in Public Policy from Harvard Kennedy School, attending as a Kennedy Memorial Scholar.

Deepfakes shallowfakes and speech synthesis tackling audiovisual manipulation

Deepfake, shallowfake and speech synthesis: tackling audiovisual manipulation

Despite alarmist news stories about deepfake heralding the end of democracy or truth itself, the technology – for better or worse – is far from perfect, which suggests that there is still a window of opportunity to prepare society, institutions and regulatory frameworks for the moment it is. The state of play Deepfakes (i.e. synthetic ...

A scientist’s opinion : Interview with Sam Gregory about Deepfakes

A scientist’s opinion : Interview with Sam Gregory about Deepfakes

Rhetoric about the ‘end of truth’ plays into the hands of people who already are saying you can’t believe anything – and that is neither true of most audiovisual material, nor true yet for deepfakes. We should not panic but prepare instead.