Position Title: Expert for Interviews and Study on Deepfakes (m/f/d)
Form of Employment: Home-based Consultant
Starting Date: 27 July 2020
Duration: 15 days (throughout 27.7.20 – 31.9.20)
Location: home-based deskwork
For the past three years, Democracy Reporting International has been producing real time evidence and studies on how social media platforms and digital ways of communication are impacting public discourse, and consequently political and voting behavior around elections. While civil society, tech companies and governments are struggling to find effective solutions for the current problems, manipulation campaigns are innovating in the way they use digital means to influence political opinion. Hence, as important as looking back to learn patterns of manipulation tactics, it is to look ahead to understand the trends and prepare for future technological developments before we face its negative consequences.
A new generation of AI driven content manipulation is becoming cheaper, and with it, easier and faster to produce and to be used for political purposes. Techniques include text and video generating artificial intelligence technologies (read fakes and deep fakes). Synthetic text and media technology are being developed fast by private companies and start-ups with commercial intents and it can be abused. When they become precise enough to deceive the public, while being too easy and cheap to produce, it may be too late to avoid political damage, particularly to democratic discourse.
With that in mind, DRI plans to produce a comprehensive study on the state of deep fakes, reflecting on the existing work of leading research centres to hear from experts and understand the implications for elections.
The consultant will work directly with DRI HQ Social Media and Democracy team under the supervision of DRI’s Research Coordinator. The consultant will perform the following tasks:
- Support with the design of interview approach, questions and report structure.
- Scope, identify, approach and schedule interviews with relevant organisations working on the topic of deepfakes including but not limited to social media companies, deepfake creators, experts from academia or NGO sector and policymakers
- Conduct 15 interviews with deepfake experts and write summaries of each interview and an overall summary
- Provide feedback to DRI’s Social Media and Democracy team throughout the interviewing process
- Support in the drafting and providing feedback on the final paper
- Attend calls and video meetings as required and maintain effective communication with the DRI Social Media and Democracy team
- Deliver the interviews and required feedback according to the agreed timeline
- Design of interview approach, questions and report structure
- List of 30 possible organisations/experts to approach
- Confirmed interview schedule with specific individuals (as weekly updates)
- 15 interview reports from interviews conducted with deepfake experts
- Overall summary of interviews (to include tables for cross-cutting analysis of responses)
- Support in drafting the final report
- Provide final feedback on report
Your Skills and Experience:
- Master’s degree in political science, international relations, journalism or related field.
- Experience working on tech policy would be considered an asset, particularly experience working on topics related to social media research, open-source intelligence (OSINT) and disinformation.
- Experience with qualitative interviews, a journalistic background is an asset.
- Demonstrated strong writing and research skills.
- Fluency in English is required, additional languages will be considered an asset. German is not required.
How to Apply:
If you are interested in this position, please send your application (cover letter and CV) to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include “Expert for Interviews and Study on Deepfakes DRI” in the subject line and refer to the source where you have found this opportunity. This position is subject to funding. Applying for this position by post mail is possible, please find our address details below.
Closing date for applications: 12 July 2020. The position may be filled before the deadline has been reached, so early applications are encouraged.
Please note that only shortlisted candidates will be contacted for an interview.
DRI is committed to diversity and does not discriminate in employment based upon gender (including pregnancy), race, ethnicity, nationality, religion, sexual orientation, age, ability, socio-economic status, or any other status protected by the laws in the locations where we operate.
Organisation responsible for this vacancy:
Democracy Reporting International gGmbH
10969 Berlin, Germany