Real Fake Newsletter – Issue #125


Who’s Afraid of Deepfake Kim Kardashian?

“Are artists on the verge of becoming obsolete as ChatGPT, Bard, LLaMA et al not only infiltrate the culture industry but reproduce the effects – and even the processes – of human creativity, the signature achievement of our species? […] What else is the artist to do if reality is an endless stream of content to be interpreted, manipulated, organized and framed, and if identities are fungible commodities?”

What will the celebrity of the future look like? Will it be still human? Or will it be a hybrid mix of the synthetic and the flesh?

Virtual Human Livestreams Are Taking Over China While NPC-style Creators Thrive Globally

“In Asia, brands are harnessing the soft power of virtual human livestreamers, while the West goes the other way around with creators pretending to be virtual humans. […] The rise in these polarizing yet neoteric trends have inundated smartphone screens across the globe over the past weeks. In China, hyper-realistic, AI-generated humanoids have grown on e-commerce platforms, while the West found itself mesmerized by a surge in NPC-like creators sharing catchphrases for cash. In the West, human emulates machine. In China, machine emulates human.

TikTok’s Strange Trend of Humans Playing Robots Spurs Hope for US Shopping

Interesting idea. TikTok sees livestreaming as a way to enhance commerce effort. NPC-streaming could be a massive opportunity to replicate its multibillion-dollar Asian livestream commerce operation in the coveted US market.

From Writing to Prompting: AI as Zeitgeist-Machine

AI is nothing other than the embodied zeitgeist. And by prompting this zeitgeist-machine, I am able to analyze and diagnose the moment of history to which I am contemporary.”

Kim Kardashian Sparks Debate on the Benefits of Full-body MRI Scans

“The last time Kim Kardashian posted about medical imaging, it was to prove her butt was real. Now, she’s praising its ability to find aneurysms and cancers before they turn deadly. […] Kardashian’s Instagram post this week about Prenuvo, which sells full-body MRI scans that can run in the thousands of dollars, has renewed a long-running debate about whether the tests are actually valuable or just run the risk of clogging hospitals with false positives and unnecessary follow-ups from wealthy and largely healthy patients.”

ChatGPT: A Bullshit Tool For Bullshit Jobs

“ChatGPT may not be the end of meaning, as I’ve often wondered, but quite the opposite: The end of meaninglessness.”

The Fight Over What’s Real (and What’s Not) on Dissociative Identity Disorder Tiktok

“It’s possible that social media is revealing new ways for individuals with genuine dissociative identity disorder (DID) to express themselves. However, it’s also very possible that social media and internet trends are contributing to increased DID claims that are not genuine.”

Deepfake Doctors Are Selling Sketchy Health Products on Tiktok

“Merchants on TikTok Shop are creating deepfake doctors to deceive users into believing the health products they sell are being promoted by medical professionals. The videos found as part of this deepfake scheme, which seems to operate by taking images of real doctors from popular accounts on TikTok and superimposing different digital faces over theirs, have racked up well over 10 million views.”

Flash Robs

Thijs Pepping


Thijs Pepping is a humanistic trend analyst in the field of new technologies. He is part of the think tank within SogetiLabs and in his work he continuously wonders and analyses what the impact of New Technologies is on our lives, organizations and society. He specialized in Humanistic Counselling and Education at the University of Humanistics in Utrecht and worked for five years with autistic children. His background in psychology and philosophy drives him to find meaningful answers to business related questions and to provoke whenever necessary. He is co-author of multiple publications on the impact of new technologies, such as ‘The FrankensteinFactor’, ‘AI First – Learning from the machine’, and ‘The Pursuit of Digital Happiness’ series. See for his previous and current work. VINT provides practical insight into the likely impact and innovative applications of new technologies for organizations worldwide. This valuable intelligence helps public and private sector enterprises to anticipate and plan for the complex dynamics of the future. The use of new technological developments is aimed at generating value that anticipates future developments.

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