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Issue #93 – Real Fake Newsletter

Menno van Doorn
December 13, 2022

On the 15th of October our book “Real Fake – Playing with Reality in the Age of AI, Deepfakes and the Metaverse” has been released. It is our take on synthetic media, deepfakes, fake news, conspiracy theories, memes, internet culture, Generation Z and Alpha, crypto, narrative economics, virtual humans, CGI influencers, vTubers, NFTs, DAOs, VR, Web3, the Creator Economy and the Metaverse. Real Fake is about how humans continuously manipulate reality and how new digital technology tools enable us to go one step further in this ancient game.

The College Essay Is Dead

“Nobody is prepared for how AI will transform academia.”

More on this topic:

AI Image Generation Tech Can Now Create Life-Wrecking Deepfakes With Ease

“AI tech makes it trivial to generate harmful fake photos from a few social media pictures. […] Once an AI model learns how to render someone, their image becomes a software plaything. The AI can create images of them in infinite quantities. And the AI model can be shared, allowing other people to create images of that person as well. […] While it’s tempting to think that our sense of media reality—even if currently misplaced—may suffer a fatal blow at the hands of synthesized photography, many people already know to be skeptical of photos that could be manipulated or taken out of context. Still, we tend to believe evidence when it supports what we want to believe. In that sense, nothing has changed but the scale and speed at which the fakes can take place.”

The Instagram Trend Report 2023

“Welcome to the latest edition of Instagram’s Trend Report, a data-driven guide to cultural and social trends as defined by Gen Z. From the financial renaissance to increased political participation, we’ve brought together the key issues and leading creators that will drive and shape culture in the new year. While this edition of the Trend Report covers topics like fashion, beauty, web3, dating, and more, at the heart of it all is community and connection.”

Why Gen Z Loves Ugly Selfies

“The primary purpose of the selfie has always been to show yourself at your best. […] But in 2022, the selfie has taken on an entirely new meaning, at least for Gen Z. Because now, for young and cool teens and twenty-somethings, taking what you might consider to be “ugly” selfies and posting weird content on social media is not only the norm, but it’s probably the best route to becoming an influencer.“

So You Want To Be A TikTok Star

“The social-media platform is transforming the music industry. Is that a good thing? […] The genius of TikTok’s business model is that the entertainment is almost entirely composed of user-generated videos, which cost a tiny fraction of the seventeen billion dollars that Netflix, for example, spent on professional content in 2021.”

Endless Media

“ChatGPT is the latest step towards a world of infinite, customizable content, all generated by artificial intelligence. Its advent will impact how we create, consume, and commercialize media. […] Fundamentally, we’re talking about a shift in how media is made and consumed. Rather than being created episodically, AI will enable it to be generated on demand. [..] Once media can be generated instantly, it will change how we consume it since our desires will no longer be bounded by content availability. […]

Endless media will create an increasingly fractal culture. […] What narratives become part of our culture if our consumption is balkanized across custom-generated content? What shared language will we lose?”

More on this topic:

How Stuart Hall’s Identities Framework Can Help Understand The Rise Of Discord And Telegram

“A framework for understanding the benefits and limitations of different digital identity models. […] The postmodern definition of identity is one that is both multiple and impermanent. Research recently conducted shows that users, particularly younger ones, are finding that this new model is much more aligned with their needs.” thx 2 Zoe Scaman.

The Struggle To Be Human

“Whether it’s music, movies or politics, we seem to be creating a world more amenable to AI by erasing more and more of what makes us, us. Even if we think we have got the better of this deal up until now, we shouldn’t assume we always will. A little resistance is prudent. The bar for being human has just been raised; the first thing we should do is stop lowering it.”

After The Creator Economy

After The Creator Economy is a publication that explores constructive alternatives for the ways we produce, distribute, and monetize creative work online.”

Raige-Baiting On TikTok

“A growing number of creators on TikTok incite rage, both low stakes and high, to get views. Some call it rage-farming or rage-baiting — whatever the name, it’s been used since the early days of social platforms to keep users clicking. Social media anthropologists say it’s a tried-and-true technique to grow followers in an attention-based economy where generating engagement, positive or negative, is lucrative digital currency.”


Think Forward 2023

“An accurate vision of the future is now less like looking through a telescope, more like looking through a kaleidoscope: it’s coming through as several diverse fragments, not one single perspective. In this fragmented space, online factions are carving out their own customs, niches, and territories – their own marginal worlds that have the power to become the mainstream.”

The OnChain Era

“Crypto is dead and few will mourn it. Now that the bubble has burst, the truly revolutionary work can begin. […] The Onchain Era will be defined as the period during which much of the world’s creative and cultural output, shared histories, and information infrastructure will become established, stored, and accessed onchain.”

MUST WATCH: The Truth About AI Getting “Creative”

The Truth About AI Getting “Creative”

MUST WATCH: Going Viral – Generative AI

Going Viral: Generative AI

MUST WATCH: Avatars on WhatsApp

Avatars on WhatsApp

MUST WATCH: Dramatron

First look – Dramatron 70B script writer (prompted Chinchilla) by DeepMind – Launched Sep/2022

Read more: Deepmind Created An AI Tool That Can Help Generate Rough Film And Stage Scripts


Real Fake is a weekly newsletter in which SogetiLabs’s Research Institute VINT examines the future where synthetic reality becomes part or our objective reality. We investigate the impact of new technology on people, organisations and our society. If you have any questions or comments, do not hesitate to contact us. You can reach us at

About the author

Director and Trend Analyst VINT | Netherlands
Menno is Director of the Sogeti Research Institute for the Analysis of New Technology (VINT). He mixes personal life experiences with the findings of the 19 years of research done at the VINT Research Institute. Menno has co-authored many books on the impact of new technology on business and society.


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