Tech Conference Canceled After Using AI to Generate Fake Women Speakers

An organizer of an upcoming software and developer conference called DevTernity has been accused of cooking up fake women speakers featured on the event’s website — AI-generated headshots and all. It looks a lot like a horrifically misfired attempt to pad out the apparent diversity in a heavily male-dominated space, a hypothesis the event’s organizer Eduards Sizovs has since forcefully denied. The bizarre development triggered a resounding outcry, leading to high-profile engineering leaders from the likes of Microsoft and Google to bow out of the conference. Shortly afterward, the event’s organizer Eduards Sizovs confirmed in an email to Bloomberg that the entire conference had been axed. “It looks like someone really wanted to deliberately damage the conference,” he wrote. (We can’t imagine who might be responsible.) Despite being caught inventing fake speakers over several years, Sizovs has no regrets and is blaming “cancel culture” for the blowback. In a rambling statement on X, he admitted to having “auto-generated” a woman’s profile after a different speaker had dropped out. “But I won’t defend myself because I don’t feel guilty,” he added. “I did nothing terrible that I need to apologize for. The conference has always delivered on its promise.” Last week, software engineer and writer Gergely Orosz discovered that the conference “lists fake (invented) Coinbase & Meta engineers as speakers on 4 conferences in 2021, 2022, and 2023.” The profiles of the exclusively female speakers featured made-up names, titles, and even AI-generated headshots. “There are maybe a dozen core Ethereum contributors in…Tech Conference Canceled After Using AI to Generate Fake Women Speakers

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