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avatar for Sam Gregory

Sam Gregory

WITNESS
Program Director
Greater New York City Area
In short....video, human rights, deepfakes, media manipulation, citizen participation, role of companies, AI, live video and experiential activism

In "long"...Sam Gregory is an award-winning technologist, media-maker, and advocate, and Program Director of WITNESS (www.witness.org) which helps people use video and technology to defend human rights. Founded after the Rodney King incident, WITNESS has 30 years of experience in 100+ countries, supporting critical uses of video to secure accountability, reaching millions of people with skills and tools, engaging technology giants on how their technology makes a difference, and maximizing civic participation via visual and social media.

An expert on new forms of misinformation and disinformation as well as innovations in preserving trust, authenticity and evidence, Sam leads WITNESS’ work on global Technology Threats and Opportunities related to the nexus of broader use of AI and increasing audiovisual and immersive communication as well as trends in both smartphone witnessing and rising authoritarianism. In coordination with technical researchers, policy-makers, companies, media organizations, journalists and civic activists he leads WITNESS's 'Prepare, Don't Panic' initiative which builds better globally-inclusive preparedness for malicious usages of deepfakes (wit.to/Synthetic-Media-Deepfakes) including current work on deepfake detection equity, deepfake ethics and satire, and emerging standards in authenticity infrastructure.

Quoted in major media worldwide, he publishes frequently on technology and human rights, has spoken at Davos and the White House, and was a 2010 Rockefeller Bellagio resident on the future of video in activism and a 2012-17 Young Global Leader of the World Economic Forum. He has worked on impactful campaigns worldwide, and video advocacy he has supported has engaged decision-makers in the U.S. Congress, the U.K. Houses of Parliament, and the United Nations and contributed to changes in policy, practice and law. He has created a range of innovative training programs and teaching texts and was lead editor on ‘Video for Change: A Guide for Advocacy and Activism’ (Pluto Press, 2005). Sam is on the Technology Advisory Board of the International Criminal Court, co-chaired the Partnership on AI’s Expert Group on AI and the Media and previously taught 2010-2018 at the Harvard Kennedy School.