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Science Speakeasy: Fake or Fact?

Special ticketed event
Adults (18+)
Thursday 16 May, 8:00pm - 9:45pm
Science Speakeasy all about artificial intelligence and deepfakes. Image shows keyboard projecting a fake image of Barrack O'Bama on screen.

Artificial Intelligence (AI) has been ingrained into our lives for some time. From Alexa and Siri to facial recognition and chatbots, most of us interact with this type of technology on a daily basis. 

But there is a potentially darker and deceptive side to this technology, particularly as it gets more refined, which could blur the lines between fact and fiction. 

AI image generators have been increasingly used for entertainment purposes to create ‘deepfakes’ – digitally manipulated videos. From TikTok accounts dedicated to Tom Cruise deepfakes to an engineered video of Barack Obama using obscenities to describe Donald Trump, viewed online by millions, it’s clear how this technology is being abused. 

At this latest Science Speakeasy, a panel of experts will explore the future of truth in an AI world dominated by deepfakes and manipulation, where anyone can create convincing false images, news articles and social media posts. 

We will examine the evolving landscape of deceptive AI-generated content and discuss the dilemma of how we can ever know if anything we see or hear is real. 

Terms and conditions

Unmasking the world of AI-driven deception.

Ticket prices

Adult (aged 18 and over) £10.00
Carer (please bring proof) FREE

The conversations at Speakeasy events are shaped by audience interaction, but we expect the discussion to cover:

How does AI contribute to the creation of misleading news articles and what challenges does this pose to the credibility of traditional media?

Megaphone icon.

How do we stop the tsunami of misinformation being accepted as truth?

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What are the implications for our trust in individuals, organisations including governments, and can we believe what we see with our own eyes?

Confirmed panellists (more to be announced)

Alistair Ford

Dr Alistair Ford (Chair)

Alistair is a lecturer in Geospatial Engineering at Newcastle University, using mapping data and computer models to explore sustainable and resilience cities. He’s particularly interested in the way that land-use and transport planning can be used to adapt our urban areas to climate change. He loves chairing the Science Speakeasy events because he gets to have fascinating discussions with knowledgeable people about subjects he knows nothing about! Alistair’s twitter.

About our Science Speakeasy events...

This adult event is part of Life’s Science Speakeasy programme – a series in which important and often controversial topics are debated in a quirky and informal way. No topic is taboo, so these events are not suitable for anyone who is easily offended!

We do, however, ensure that all discussion is based on correct science to avoid the spread of misinformation.


Questions to the panel are encouraged, or you can just sit back and enjoy the event. Limited tickets available. Pay bar available on the evening.

So join us under Gaia – our mesmerising 7 metre recreation of Earth – for a fun evening of lively debate.

‘The speakers were excellent and their collective knowledge of the topic was great. The debate was lively and interesting- enough to keep a non-science novice engaged. The atmosphere was relaxed and there were plenty of opportunities to ask questions.’

‘A very enjoyable event in a relaxed atmosphere. A well informed debate from very knowledgeable guests covering separate but related areas of expertise, without getting too “heavy”. A wide range of audience members provided a number of interesting questions.

‘The whole setup is excellent, and it’s lovely to be able to enjoy a night out that is original and not just another sweaty bar or expensive restaurant. It’s nice to connect with culture and knowledge.’

Getting here

Life is located in Times Square, just a two minute walk from Newcastle Central train and Metro station.

Driving? Times Square Car Park is just around the corner. The sat nav reference for the car park is NE1 4AD (opposite Jurys Inn hotel). Look out for Centre for Life and/or Times Square Car Park signage to direct you.

Times Square, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 4EP

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