Dominic Lees (EN)

Dominic Lees is Associate Professor of Filmmaking at the University of Reading. His expertise lies in Generative AI in the screen industries. He publishes and conducts research in the fields of deepfakes, voice cloning, and text-to-video, with a particular emphasis on the ethics of creativity using AI technologies. As a public-facing academic expert on AI, he has provided expert interviews to national media (Sky News, BBC Radio) and provides deepfake fact-checking for international news organisations (Reuters, Boom Live India). He is the lead writer on AI for the BFI’s Sight & Sound magazine.

His major research has been into deepfakes – the digital replacement of actors’ faces in film using systems of Artificial Intelligence. His work also examines the ethics and legal questions arising from deepfakes, and the impact on the performer in screen production. He is interested in the transformative impact of new technologies on the creative process in mainstream production, and on how deepfakes alter audiences’ relationship with screen fictions.

He leads the Synthetic Media Research Network (SMRN), which brings together UK and international scholars, industry stakeholders and governmental bodies to consider the future of Generative AI technology.

Dominic Lees’ research is rooted in his professional experience as a director of television drama and independent feature film. This career included directing forty episodes of mainstream drama series broadcast on UK terrestrial channels, as well as writing and directing the award-winning feature, Outlanders (2008). He has also created multimedia screenwork for opera and worked as Associate Producer for programmes on Channel 4.

Lees writes on aesthetics and style in television drama and film. His co-authored book, Seeing It OnTelevision (Bloomsbury, 2021), explores how high-end US TV drama is shaped by cultural discourse and production histories, and adopts a style-based critical methodology to closely examine the construction of meaning.

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> Lecture at ZFICTION.24 | Acting in the era of deepfakes and AI