20/10/2022 (Thursday) 13:00-14:00 E21B-G002

Indexicality and authenticity in digital images


Huawei’s smartphone P30 Pro, with a pre-installed algorithmic program, can automatically recognize and enhance images of the moon when taking photos. However, people feel that the AI-enhanced moon photo is ‘too real’ to be identified as real since it looks like it was photoshopped. By adding more details to the moon photo, the photo should be closer to the real moon, but why do people think it is ‘fake’? Visual technologies have shaped and changed the ways we feel and understand the world, and our perceptions of the world and reality are constructed through interactions between technologies, human beings and the world. By delineating the brief history of visual technologies, this talk discusses how we conceive authenticity and how digital technologies bring challenges and changes to it.


Meng, Jing (PhD) is an Assistant Professor in Media Studies with Peking University HSBC Business School. Her research interests reside in digital journalism, visual technologies and critical data studies. She has published with journals including Journalism Studies, Chinese Journal of Communication, Asian Journal of Communication, Media, Culture and Society, and Journal of Chinese Cinemas. She has published a monograph on screen and memories with HKU Press (2020) and co-edited the volume Digital Journalism in China (Routledge, 2022).