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Freda Mishan (PhD)

Authenticity: An Anachronism in the Digital Age?

What was once a theoretical debate about distinguishing the ‘authentic’ from the ‘inauthentic’ has today become a reality. With AI tools that can emulate the utterances of anyone from a statesman to a young child, from the publications of a corporate giant to a school essay, who is to say these are less ‘authentic’ than those produced by humans? Arguably, the generated texts of AI/Chat GPT are more so, in that they trawl the internet for characteristics of each to generate a text typical of the required genre. This talk will reflect on the shifting sands of authenticity in the digital age and propose that in the virtual spaces in which we and our language learners increasingly operate, the concept can be more aptly applied to language interaction and language experience.

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