Newhouse Faculty, Doctoral Students to Participate in 2024 ICA Conference

Several Newhouse School faculty members and doctoral students will participate in the 74th annual International Communication Association conference on June 20-24, in Gold Coast, Australia. Their involvement includes paper presentations, panel appearances and more.

Note: For times and locations of presentations, please visit the conference website.

Friday, June 21

Uncanny Valley: The Paradoxical Effects of Anthropomorphism on Social Presence & Patronage Intention in the Context of e-Commerce Chatbot

Heejae Lee

University Branding & Emotional Shifts Affecting Message Responses: A Psychophysiological Experiment on University COVID-19 Vaccine & Mask Policies

Jocelyn McKinnon-Crowley

The Role of Media Literacy & Identities in Youth Civic Engagement & Media Activism

Srivi Ramasubramanian and Shannon Burth

Perceived Relationships with a Female World Leader: A Public Diplomacy & Nation Branding Experiment of News Framing

Martina Santia

Unintended Effects of Health & Risk Communication: Uncovering Message Strategies Against Message Fatigue

Youngji Seo

Probing the Asymmetry: Examining the Relationship Between News-Finds-Me Perceptions & Affective Polarization

Lars Willnat

Exploring the Comparative Effects of VR & AR on Learning Outcome: The Role of Plausibility Illusion, Cognitive Load, & Learner Personality

Heejae Lee

Emotional & Cognitive Effort in VR: Quantifying Empathy Evoking Effectiveness of Immersive Storytelling in DEIA-Themed Narratives

Kandice Green, David Peters and Makana Chock

The Right to Attribution in News: Truth & Transparency in AI & Journalism

Jason Davis, Gina Luttrell, Carrie Welch and Nalae Hong

Saturday, June 22

Effects of Message-based Affirmation on Responses to Environmental Risk Messages about Fast Fashion

Faren Karimkhan

When Crises Happen in News Deserts: Rural Social Media Commenters Adhering to Journalistic Norms

Jocelyn McKinnon-Crowley

How Do We Engage People with Low Motivation in Supporting Social Causes: Harnessing the Power of Influencers in Effective CSR Communication

Jeongwon Yang

Do ASMR Videos Have a Therapeutic Effect on Stressed Individuals: Examining the Neural Synchrony across Stressed Individuals Watching ASMR Videos

Yoon Lee

Delivering Change: The Diffusion of Doula Care in Black American Communities

Bryce Whitwam (recipient of Top Student Paper Award)

Inspiring Change or Protecting Status Quo: A Critical Look at Corporate Social Advocacy in Sports

Maria Grover

Exploring Audience Responses to Outdated Cultural Depiction Labels on Older Entertainment Media: A Mixed-Methodological Study

Nick Bowman, Yoon Lee, Srivi Ramasubramanian and Shannon Burth

The Roles of Media Platforms, Political Orientation, & Climate Change Belief in Pro-Environmental Behaviors: Cross-Cutting vs Like-Minded Exposure in the US & South Korea

Heejae Lee

Sunday, June 23

Negotiating Identities & Political (Dis)Engagement: An Exploration of Women’s Political Experiences during Brazil’s Presidential Election

Raiana de Carvalho

Data Justice & Trauma-informed Approaches to Health Equity

Srivi Ramasubramanian

Geopolitical Frictions & Science Journalism: A View from the Hierarchy of Influences Model

Xi Liu

Translation & Validation of the Video Game Demand Scale to Spanish

Heejae Lee and Nick Bowman

Exploring the Confidential Safe Zones: DV Shelters’ Communication Strategies towards Asian-American Women

Amanda Ni

Monday, June 24

Deep Description, Systematic Representative Design, & AI, AI, AI: Advancing Communication Science

Charisse Corsbie-Massay

Framing the Yanomami People during COVID-19: A Content Analysis of US Media Coverage of the Indigenous Health Emergency in Brazil

Raiana de Carvalho, Martina Santia and Srivi Ramasubramanian

Immersion or Identity Tourism: A Cautionary Note on our Emotionally Connected Future

Nick Bowman

Newhouse Impact: New Study Analyzes How Audiences Perceive News Beat Coverage; 2024 Newhouse Summit to Cover Immersive Storytelling

The latest Newhouse Impact research roundup also covers more about healthcare communications campaigns and loneliness.

A new study in the journal “Journalism,” investigates differences in news beat coverage between female and male journalists and their potential effects on audiences. The study’s authors are Newhouse School postdoctoral scholar Martina Santia; professor of communications and John Ben Snow Endowed Research Chair Lars Willnat; and doctoral candidate Stan Jastrzebski.

Read the study

2024 Newhouse Impact Summit

This year’s Newhouse Impact summit will be held Aug. 1-2 at the Newhouse School. Titled “Advances and Opportunities in Immersive Storytelling Technologies,” the event will feature speakers from around the world presenting their innovative and provocative creative and scholarly work on the past, present and future of storytelling through extended reality technologies.

Newhouse Impact Podcast

A recent episode of the Newhouse Impact podcast covered research on loneliness and how health care professionals and those who create public information campaigns about wellness seek to learn more about stress impacts different groups. 

Amy Barone, a student in the master’s of public relations program spoke with host Chris Bolt about her research on how loneliness impacts specific demographic groups and what can be done to address it. Barone, who also teaches in the writing studies, rhetoric and composition department in the College of Arts and Sciences, worked with Hua Jiang, associate dean of academic affairs at the Newhouse School and a professor of public relations.  

Excerpts from the interview are below. Listen to the full show by visiting the WAER episode page.  

What led you to research loneliness and the effects of the pandemic and politics upon it? 

Barone 

That’s a great question. I had spent the past four-five years in the classroom, creating writing courses focused on mental health. And students were writing about these topics. We were having conversations about and exploring scientific, peer-reviewed research on them. The students were just really eager to talk about what was transpiring in their personal lives and how that spilled over into their experiences in college. 

I also have a little bit of a background in mental health. Through that, I have learned that people are not necessarily aware of their loneliness, but feel lonely, nonetheless. So, I wanted to use this research opportunity to further explore the implications of that and determine how it connects to the field of healthcare communications. 

We know that people are feeling more isolated due to the pandemic and the current divisiveness of the political climate. But what exactly were you looking for in terms of a more scientific or research-supported view of that? 

Barone 

We started by doing a tremendous amount of secondary research. From those statistics, we learned that one in five adults live with mental illness, and that people are experiencing loneliness in epidemic proportions. In fact, it was the Surgeon General of the United States, Vivek Murthy, who [brought] to the public the idea that loneliness is currently an epidemic of sorts. This concept also came up in clinical studies in the [United Kingdom] to the degree that their government specifically appointed a minister to deal with it.  

This is a serious mental health issue, and a physical one as well. But is it also something that might be ameliorated through effective healthcare communication? 

Hua, you were sort of the guide for the students going into this research course. What did you think they could learn about loneliness that was scientifically-supported as opposed to anecdotal? 

Jiang 

In this course, we really encourage students to do both secondary and primary research, and to connect what was done in the past with what is happening now. We first got a lot of data from past studies, and then used that as the foundation of our primary research. This primary research consisted of surveys, social listening with focus groups and interviews. We wanted to get information directly from people. We also checked to see whether our findings coincided with those of the secondary research. 

Our ultimate goal was to generate information for medical practitioners, pharmaceutical companies, and others from the health field. To provide them with insights that would be useful in developing communication campaigns to target specific stakeholder groups in the real world.  

Also listen to: Can laughing at jokes and satire actually help bridge racial gaps and misunderstanding?


Recent accolades, highlights and notes

Michael O. Snyder talked about his best photograph, which is part of a long-term project, “The Queens of Queen City.”

Michael O. Snyder’s photographs were featured in a National Geographic press release and feature story about the ancient city of Petra and climate change.

The Code^Shift Symposium highlighted the complexities of the portrayal of immigrant communities in media.

Dennis Kinsey wrote about his keynote speech and research at the Annual Conference of the International Society for the Scientific Study of Subjectivity in Belfast last semester.

Newhouse School faculty members and doctoral students will participate in the 74th annual International Communication Association conference in Australia on June 20-24.

Harriet Brown has been chosen as a 2024-2025 Fulbright U.S. Scholar. 

An IDJC report tracked the influence of social media ads on presidential primaries.

Roy Gutterman was a panelist at the SPJ Region 1 conference, the Albany Government Law Review symposium and the Education Writers Association panel “College Campus Free Speech Challenges Amid Israel-Hamas War.”

Roy Gutterman wrote about the how the spectacle of O.J. trial is one reason we won’t get to see Trump’s.

IDJC Report Tracks Influence of Social Media Ads on Presidential Primaries

More than 1,800 groups have collectively spent an estimated $15.3 million to pay for social media advertising that mentions President Joe Biden, former President Donald Trump or other presidential candidates, according to a new report from Syracuse University’s Institute for Democracy, Journalism and Citizenship (IDJC). 

Research from the IDJC ElectionGraph project found that the millions paid for more than 24,000 ad buys and about 5,500 unique ads on Facebook and Instagram between Sept. 1, 2023, and Feb. 29, 2024. This amounts to an estimated 869 million impressions in the months leading up to, and during, the presidential primaries. The majority of ads involved Biden or Trump, the report found.  

The Biden and Trump campaigns spent another roughly $10 million on paid social media content, drawing 303 million impressions, though the incumbent outspent Trump about 7-to-1 on these platforms.  

This is the first report produced via research supported by a $250,000 grant from Neo4j, the world’s leading graph database and analytics company. The grant allows ElectionGraph researchers to use Neo4j’s graph database and analytics software to identify misinformation trends in the U.S. presidential election and other top 2024 contests. 

The research team’s efforts focus on dissecting misinformation themes—pinpointing origins of messages and tracing misinformation by collecting and algorithmically classifying ads run on Facebook and Instagram, as well as social media posts on Facebook and X, formerly known as Twitter. The project will also gather input from journalists and the public about the 2024 presidential election, and races for U.S. Senate and key congressional districts. 

Jennifer Stromer-Galley

The first set of findings released today demonstrate the importance of requiring social media platforms to disclose details about election advertising and messaging, says Jennifer Stromer-Galley, senior associate dean and professor at the School of Information Studies. An expert in political campaigns and misinformation, Stromer-Galley leads the IDJC ElectionGraph research team.  

“Revealing details about ads and messaging on social media platforms is vital to provide the public with transparency and context,” Stromer-Galley says. “Failure to do so can make voters more vulnerable to manipulation without any sort of accountability.” 

Organizations that ran ads ranged from well-known political action committees, political party groups or other candidates, to obscure players with harder-to-trace ties and agendas, the report found. The analysis identifies the top 30 spenders that each mention Biden and Trump, and examines patterns in how groups apply the honorific of “President” when referring to either candidate. 

The report captures a fraction of overall U.S. election-related content across all social media platforms. While Meta, which owns Facebook and Instagram, currently allows approved organizations to access ad data, it is not required to be made available—and not similarly trackable—on TikTok, Google, YouTube or Snapchat. 

Margaret Talev

“These findings give us a glimpse at the firehose of information and misinformation coming at voters from groups with a jumble of motives, ties and trustworthiness ahead of the 2024 elections,” says Margaret Talev, Kramer Director of the IDJC, professor of practice at the Newhouse School of Public Communications and a journalist.

The challenge faced by digital researchers and computational journalists in unearthing the consequences of AI-driven misinformation on democracy is enormous, says Jim Webber, chief scientist at Neo4j.  

“Graph technology is an essential enabler to those seeking to uncover hidden patterns and networks of those looking to manipulate democratic populations,” Webber says.

“We at Neo4j are proud to support Syracuse University’s mission to help journalists and citizens separate fact from fake news so that the voting public can make informed decisions as they go to the polls.”

This article originally appeared in Syracuse University News.

Comedy, Satire and How Humor Can Address Topics Related to Race, Diversity and Other Serious Issues

Read more about the latest episode of the “Newhouse Impact” podcast and listen to the show.

We often laugh at comedy and satire. But can these forms of entertainment be effective in spreading understanding about serious issues such as bridging racial gaps ?

On this episode of the “Newhouse Impact” podcast on WAER 88.3, Syracuse University faculty members Charisse L’Pree and Luvell Anderson discuss their work breaking down the messages that can be embedded in satire and humor. L’Pree is an associate professor of communications at the Newhouse School, while Anderson is an associate professor of philosophy in the College of Arts and Sciences. Their interdisciplinary PoSH Lab (Psychology, Philosophy and Pedagogy of Satire and Humor) can help students examine serious topics and inform their work.

L’Pree and Anderson also said on “Newhouse Impact” that humor has long been a place where race and differences have been discussed, and in some cases it’s a way to call out stereotypes and break down barriers.

Loneliness Can Lead to Mental, Physical Health Issues: What PR Can Do

Read more about the latest episode of the “Newhouse Impact” podcast and listen to the show.

How much have the pandemic, political divisions in our communities and other factors increased isolation and depression? New research by Newhouse School graduate student Amy Barone discovers loneliness might be the key factor that leads to physical and mental health problems.

Barone, who also teaches in the writing studies, rhetoric and composition department in the College of Arts and Sciences, conducted the research as part of a project with Hua Jiang, associate dean of academic affairs at Newhouse and an associate professor of public relations. The findings could help shape public health campaigns to help people find health care. The research focused specifically on Black people and African Americans in Generation X and Gen Z.

Listen to this episode of “Newhouse Impact” to learn more about the research and how it might help people.

Newhouse Professor Dennis Kinsey Gives Keynote Speech, Shares Research at Subjectivity Conference in Belfast

Dennis Kinsey, director for the Newhouse School’s public diplomacy and global communications program and a professor of public relations, reflects on his trip to Belfast, Northern Ireland.

Conducting research and advancing knowledge is an important part of a university professor’s job, and the first step in sharing one’s research typically involves the presentation of findings at academic conferences.

a person stands behind a wooden podium and speaks
Kinsey giving his keynote speech. (Photo courtesy of Michelle Johnson)

From Sept. 13-15, 2023, I had the privilege of participating in the 39th Annual Conference of the International Society for the Scientific Study of Subjectivity, known as the “Q Conference,” held in Belfast, Northern Ireland.

Throughout the conference, I attended numerous presentations, shared my own research titled “Sports logos that inspire: Exploring the elements of sports logo” and contributed as a panelist in the “Expert Panel on Q Methodology.” However, the pinnacle of this experience for me was the honor of delivering a keynote address. This was my inaugural experience as a keynote speaker, and the request humbled and privileged me.

My keynote speech revolved around the journey from conducting one’s maiden Q study to evolving into a mentor in Q-methodolgy. The central theme of my keynote was elucidating the common bewilderment encountered during the early stages of research, and how, with each subsequent study, we accrue confidence and expertise.

In due course, we find ourselves guiding emerging scholars on their own Q-methodological odyssey. Moreover, the keynote provided a platform for me to expound on my methods for teaching research techniques to undergraduate students in Newhouse’s public relations program and graduate students studying public diplomacy and global communication. This address was warmly received and afforded me the opportunity to sing the praises of our students.

a person signs the Peace Wall in Belfast Northern Ireland
Kinsey signing the Peace Wall in Belfast. (Photo courtesy of Dennis Kinsey)

I typically participate in two conferences each year, and these conferences offer me the chance to see new scholars presenting their research, reconnect with familiar faces in the academic community and explore intriguing destinations. However, the true value of attending such conferences is in the acquisition of new knowledge about the latest, cutting-edge research.

This wealth of knowledge is then transferred to the classroom, where I can impart it to my students. Newhouse students, renowned for their curiosity and passion, exhibit keen interest in studies that contribute to our understanding of the world and people who inhabit it.

Dennis Kinsey is the director for the Newhouse School’s public diplomacy and global communications program and a professor of public relations.

Newhouse Professor Harriet Brown Selected as 2024-2025 Fulbright U.S. Scholar

Harriet Brown, a professor of magazine, news and digital journalism (MND) at the Newhouse School, has been chosen as a 2024-2025 Fulbright U.S. Scholar. She will take her Fulbright semester in Israel during spring 2025. 

Harriet Brown headshot
Brown

Brown’s Fulbright award is a combination teaching and research grant. During her time in Israel, she will teach a class at the University of Haifa and report on an ongoing project with photographer Lynn Johnson that looks at families who use cannabis to help their medically fragile children. Syracuse University Press has tentatively agreed to publish a book based on the reporting, Brown said. 

Brown cited one of the reasons she applied for the competitive fellowship was, that even before the outbreak of the Israel-Hamas war, “it was becoming less and less politically acceptable to be a Jewish American academic with connections to Israel. This is even more true now. I hope to build some bridges between Israeli and American academics and journalists.” 

The prestigious Fulbright Scholar Awards allow recipients to teach and lead research abroad, while also helping to play an essential role in U.S. public diplomacy by forming long-term relationships between people and countries.  

In announcing the award, the Fulbright program said they hope Syracuse University can use Brown’s engagement in Israel to establish research and relationships, interact with University alumni and more. 

Brown, also the MND graduate program director at Newhouse, has more than 30 years of experience as both a writer and editor for many national magazines, including The New York Times Magazine, O Magazine, Vogue, Psychology Today, Prevention and Parenting. 

In 2011, she was awarded the John F. Murray Award for Strategic Communication for the Public Good by the University of Iowa Journalism School. 

Brown has written several books, including “Shadow Daughter: A Memoir of Estrangement,” “Brave Girl Eating: A Family’s Struggle with Anorexia” and “Body of Truth: How Science, History, and Culture Drive Our Obsession with Weight—and What We Can Do About It.” 

Complexities of the Portrayal of Immigrant Communities in Media is Focus of Code^Shift Symposium 

Journalists must appreciate and convey the complexities of how immigrant communities are portrayed in the media, placing emphasis on telling inclusive stories that avoid generalizations.  

Typically, media literacy education focuses on media production skills and on skills to seek out accurate information, added Srivi Ramasubramanian, a decorated communications scholar and founder and director of the Code^Shift lab at the Newhouse School. “However, it is important for media education to also include diversity literacies and reflections on who is left out or trivialized within the media.” 

Srivi Ramasubramanian
Srivi Ramasubramanian

Code^Shift’s second annual research symposium on Friday at the Newhouse School seeks to shine more light on the topic, highlighting the intersectionality and complexities of immigrant identities and ways to better advocate for them through “counternarratives that challenge negative cultural stereotypes,” Ramasubramanian said.  

Titled “Othered Immigrants: Inclusive Storytelling for Well-Being, Advocacy, and Counternarratives,” the event includes presentations from 15 leading faculty experts from Syracuse University and other institutions across the United States, as well as from Newhouse graduate and undergraduate students.   

Immigration and the portrayal of immigrant communities remain polarizing and pivotal topics in the 2024 presidential campaign. The research to be presented at the symposium aims to bring attention to traditionally underrepresented groups largely understudied by media scholars, and raise awareness about the portrayal of immigrants in the media.  

“We draw attention to the importance of avoiding racially motivated blame rhetoric and including more immigrants from minoritized groups within newsrooms,” Ramasubramanian said. 

Code^Shift is a multidisciplinary research lab housed in the Newhouse School that focuses on communication and data justice, with the goal of addressing contemporary social issues relating to race, gender, ethnicity and indigeneity using data, media, technology, art and storytelling.  

The symposium aligns with Code^Shift’s research goals of highlighting voices and perspectives of marginalized groups—including immigrants, refugees and asylum seekers—within media representations, industry, research and education, Ramasubramanian said. 

At the symposium, Newhouse doctoral candidates and students will discuss their research on indigenous communities, undocumented immigrants, equitable media literacy and Asian Americans, while undergraduate students will present on Code^Shift’s creative initiatives and more. 

More information and a link to register are available on the event program guide. Those interested in attending are asked to respond by Wednesday. Contact Srivi Ramasubramanian at srramasu@syr.edu with any questions.

Newhouse Impact: Social Media Impacting Change in Large Organizations; Research to Combat Misinformation Draws More Funding

Welcome to the latest edition of the Newhouse Impact research and creative activity roundup, which highlights the work of Newhouse students, faculty and staff, along with accolades and other distinctions.

Newhouse Impact Podcast

The disappearance of a female soldier at a U.S. Army base in Texas 2020 was met by silence and opaqueness from military officials. When family social media posts were amplified by a celebrity and Latina advocacy group, it might have been the necessary pressure for change. 

Former Army soldier and public affairs specialist Michelle Johnson researched this as a case study into whether a groundswell of social media attention could result in organizational change, even in such a large, inflexible entity as the U.S. military. Johnson is now a Ph.D. student of Mass Communications in Syracuse University’s Newhouse School of Public Communications. 

Johnson found the case of Vanessa Guillen — whose body was eventually found murdered — showed that enough social media attention could engage change agents. Johnson spoke with host Chris Bolt on the Newhouse Impact podcast about the case, the #IAmVanessa Guillen movement, and what can be learned about public relations messaging from response to this tragedy.  

Listen to the full show by going to the Newhouse Impact episode page.  

You looked into how a social media movement was able to affect change against the US military in the tragic case of a missing person. How did you become interested in this? 

Johnson 

I am a 25-year military veteran. I am a woman. I was an Army leader. And I was a sexual assault victim. All these things made this particular case very important to me. I was in the military at the time that this happened, and I watched it all unfold. Being a soldier, a woman, a sexual assault survivor (not in the military, but a survivor nonetheless), and a mother of soldiers; I thought it was essential that we really understood why this unfolded the way it did. Since I had the right expertise and was at Newhouse (where I had the ability to study things that matter to me), I decided to see if we could figure out why this happened, the missteps involved, and how we could avoid something like this happening again. 

You have touchpoints to this in a lot of ways, not just as a member of the military. Would you describe that as sort of an intersectional approach? 

Johnson 

Yeah, I think that the intersection of identities here really influenced why people were so emotionally tied to this story. 

Before we get into the particulars of the case, could you discuss your 20-plus years in the military? 

Johnson 

Sure. I was trying to finish my undergraduate degree while working. And it was really hard to keep doing those things at the same time, so I decided to join the military and get some help paying for school. I enlisted in the Army National Guard in Ohio, where I’m from, and spent five years as a military police officer. 

I also met my husband there. He eventually decided to go on active duty; and I decided that if he was going to, I would as well. But this time I was going to do a job related to my degree. So, I was a broadcast journalist for the first 10 years of my active-duty career. And after that, I switched to public relations. I also got to live in three different countries and do a lot of really interesting things. 

Also listen to: Loneliness Can Lead to Mental, Physical Health Issues: What PR Can Do


Recent accolades, highlights and notes

Research by Jason Davis and Regina Luttrell to detect and combat misinformation draws more funding.

For Sean Branagan, the ScreenME-Net Summit in Estonia last semester marked the culmination of his Fulbright work.

Shaina Holmes is the visual effects supervisor for the short films Bequest and Marshall Man, and was the dailies producer for feature film Cabrini. 

G Douglas Barrett’s book monograph, “Experimenting the Human: Art, Music, and the Contemporary Posthuman,” was reviewed in the latest issue of Neural.

Greg Munno’s Knight Foundation grant proposal was awarded $137,500.

Sean Branagran was quoted in the article “Apple and Meta’s new VR headsets look like a sports force multiplier.”

Bryce Whitwam participated in a live webcast that discussed key findings of a report on the changing marketing landscape in China.

Charisse L’Pree is involved with a new faculty research project that was awarded a grant by the Lender Center for Social Justice.

Shaina Holmes was co-host and panelist for “Celebrating VFX Authors,” and moderator for “The VFX Lifecycle for Today’s Budgets and Teams.” 

Two of Michael O. Snyder’s images have been awarded as Finalists in the Smithsonian Magazine Photo Contest. 

The proposal that G Douglas Barrett wrote with the group he co-leads in the Bioinspired Institute, Posthumanities: Arts and Sciences won for the 2024 Wali Lecture.

Bryce Whitwam’s research paper “Delivering Change: The Diffusion of Doula Care in Black American Communities” won the ICA’s 2024 Top Student Paper Award.

Research by Newhouse Faculty to Detect and Combat Misinformation Draws More Funding 

Research by two Newhouse School faculty members that seeks to detect and combat misinformation and disinformation has received another $175,000 in funding, pushing the total for the program to more than $1.5 million. 

Gina Luttrell
Regina Luttrell

The effort led by Jason Davis, research professor and co-director of the Real Chemistry Emerging Insights Lab, and Regina Luttrell, senior associate dean, focuses on refining a theoretical framework for the creation and testing of artificial intelligence algorithms that can identify manipulated media.   

Their research is tied to a subcontract that is part of the Semantic Forensics program, which is funded by an $11.9 million Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) contract with PAR Government Systems Corp. The  Semantics Forensics (SemaFor) program seeks to create a system for automatic detection, attribution and characterization of falsified media assets.  

DARPA said in an announcement that it is launching two new efforts to help the broader community defend against manipulated media. The first comprises an  analytic catalog containing open-source resources developed under the SemaFor program for use by researchers and industry.  

Jason Davis
Jason Davis

The second will be an open community research effort called AI Forensics Open Research Challenge Evaluation,  which aims to develop innovative and robust machine learning, or deep learning, models that can accurately detect synthetic AI-generated images.  

“The challenges associated with disinformation continue to accelerate with the injection of generative AI and synthetic media, and it’s going to take the entire community to keep up with the threat,” Davis said.    

“This new effort represents an exciting evolution in the research program as the technology is transitioned to a more open platform that the broader community can leverage moving forward.”  

The threat of manipulated media has steadily increased as automated manipulation technologies become more accessible, DARPA said, while social media continues to provide a ripe environment for viral content sharing. 

“Our investments have seeded an opportunity space that is timely, necessary and poised to grow,” said Wil Corvey, DARPA’s Semantic Forensics program manager. “With the help of industry and academia around the world, the Semantic Forensics program is ready to share what we’ve started to bolster the ecosystem needed to defend authenticity in a digital world.”