DevTernity, JDKon conferences use AI to fake women speakers

Occurred: November 2023

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The organiser of the DevTernity technology conference used AI-generated female speakers to give the impression it was more diverse than it actually was.

Founded in 2015, DevTernity is an invitation-only online conference for developers that was first held in Latvia before moving online. In 2023, suspected fake profiles were flagged by social media users in the names of Anna Boyko, purportedly a staff engineer at Coinbase and Ethereum core contributor, and Alina Prokhoda, said to be a Microsoft MVP and WhatsApp senior engineer. Neither women exist in real-life.

Conference organiser Eduards Sizovs reputedly told a speaker the conference had been cancelled because 'somebody who wasn't invited was upset.' He later confirmed that two of the three women DevTernity speakers had to drop out at the last minute, and that there was at least one fake DevTernity presenter profile, which he said was an 'oversight'. 


Operator: Eduards Sizovs
Country: Estonia
Sector: Technology
Purpose: Generate images
Issue: Diversity
Transparency: Governance; Marketing