What is the future of visuals in the media?

Visual Transparency in the Media 2019

What is the future of visuals in the media? How can we learn to distinguish fakes from facts, and how can we build our own digital self-defence? These are some of the issues that will be discussed at this year´s ViSmedia conference in Bergen, March 26 2019.

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Date: Tuesday, March 26th, 2019
Venue: University Aula in Bergen
Conference Host: Frode Guribye

New technologies such as smart phones, AI and satellite cameras provide new opportunities for visual storytelling. Extended watching and surveillance is becoming an integrated part of our daily lives. And yet many people feel threatened by manipulated images and deep fake videos. And journalism accountability is challenged at its roots. 


At the conference, the expert presenters will approach transparency and truth in the media from a multitude of angles. Investigative reporter Nora Bauer from Germany will document how worldwide investments in LED street lamps is used for surveillance purposes; Deborah Johnson from Virginia discusses dilemmas of humanoid robot-sex and its ethical implications for journalism; Lars Nyre presents a provocative theory of technological determinism, and Paul C. Adams from Austin, Texas will investigate the pathways of third party cookies in European digital media. 

Moreover, Black Mirror researcher Øyvind Vågnes will discuss the emerging cultures of surveillance as they unfold in the popular fiction series on Netflix. Turo Uskali from Finland predicts a future of ubiquitous satellite journalism, whereas Duc Tien Dang Nguyen from UiB will explain new research ways for publishers and journalists to deal with image verification. Nicholas Diakopoulos from Northwestern University digs deeper into the black box and presents new approaches to AI ethics.

“By illuminating the polarities of visual transparency, we aim to inspire the audience to further dig into these issues, and to stimulate reflection and foresight thinking,” says professor Astrid Gynnild, principal investigator of the ViSmedia project at the UiB. 

The conference ends with a hot topic interactive panel discussion.  

The event is free and open to everyone, including journalists, researchers, tech developers, students, and media teachers. The event is organized by NCEMedia and the ViSmedia project at the University of Bergen, funded by the Norwegian Research Council. The event is carried out in accordance with the framework for responsible research and innovation, RRI. 


09.00 — 10.00 Registration, Fruits coffee/tea

10.00 — 10.10 Opening Session by Dag Rune Olsen, Headmaster, University of Bergen (EN)

10.10 — 10.20 Introduction by Frode Guribye (EN

10.20 — 10.50 Digital Self-Defense by Freja Wedenborg, Journalist, Denmark (EN)

10.50 — 11.05 Coffee break

11.05 — 11.25 The Lights are on and They are Watching You by Nora Bauer, Radio Documentary maker, Köln, Germany (EN)

11.25 — 11.45 The Case of the Missing Cookies: Impacts of the GDPR on European Online News by Paul C. Adams, Professor, University of Texas, Austin, USA (EN)

11.45 — 12.30 Lunch from Godt Brød

12.30 — 12.50 Sex with Robots - Promises and Perils of New Technology by Deborah G. Johnson, Professor, University of Virginia, USA (EN)

12.50 — 13.10 The Next Frontiers of Aerial Storytelling by Turo Uskali, PhD, University of Jyväskylä, Finland (EN)

13.10 — 13:30 Technology Takeover. What if Technological Determinism is the Best Theory of Reality? By Lars Nyre, Professor, University of Bergen (EN)

13.30 — 13.45 Coffee break

13:45 — 14.05 Transparency and the Ethics of AI by Nicholas Diakopoulos, Associate Professor, Northwestern University, USA (EN)

14.05 — 14.25 Multimedia Verification by Duc Tien Dang Nguyen, Associate Professor, University of Bergen, Norway (EN)

14.25 — 14.35 Coffee break

14.35 — 14.55 Black Mirror and the Culture of Surveillance by Øyvind Vågnes, Associate Professor, University of Bergen (EN)

15.00 — 16.00 Interactive panel debate with Paul C. Adams, Turo Uskali, Deborah G. Johnson, Paul C. Adams and Nicholas Diakopoulos. Panel moderator: Hilde Sandvik, Editor, Broen.xyz (EN)

Read more about the speakers

Watch the presentations