AI and Emerging Threats Intern – Fall 2018


About WITNESS: WITNESS makes it possible for anyone, anywhere to use video and technology to protect and defend human rights.

Internships at WITNESS offer a unique, hands-on opportunity to enhance your educational objectives through practical, real-world experience under the guidance and mentoring of experienced professionals in the areas of human rights, video advocacy, communications, media operations, fundraising, IT, human resources, and nonprofit administration.  Interns participate in an array of activities depending on the department and projects, which may include research, event planning, outreach, organizational support, translation, and writing.


An emerging area of WITNESS’ programmatic work focuses on proactive approaches to protecting and upholding marginal voices and human rights as emerging technologies such as AI intersect with the pressures of disinformation, media manipulation, and rising authoritarianism. A particular area of focus is on proactive and pragmatic approaches to dealing with emerging threats from ‘deepfakes’ and other forms of AI-generated or AI-manipulated ‘synthetic media. Secondary areas of focus include AI and facial recognition, AI and content moderation, and other emerging areas of human rights and technology.

For more information see:

The intern will be engaged in learning tasks focused around this initiative including synthesis of research (AI technical and human rights), development of advocacy and training plans, and coordination with relevant stakeholders. This is a unique opportunity for a highly motivated, enthusiastic, and intelligent individual with a combination of skills and experience at the intersection of computer science/AI and journalism or human rights. A background in open-source investigation is also helpful.

Tasks Include:

  • Research on emerging trends in AI-generated synthetic media and deepfakes and analysis of technical advances, and relationship to broader misinformation/disinformation issues;
  • Support in developing workshops on threat models and ‘playbooks for action’ related to key sector such as journalism and human rights;
  • Assisting with workshop implementation;
  • Support on advocacy towards platforms and social networks around approaches to AI-generated media;
  • Assisting with other relevant emerging issues at intersection of technology and human rights.

The AI and Emerging Threats Intern will play a key role in helping to build this critical element of our Programmatic work in a timely moment. All interns can expect to spend up to 20% of their time engaged in administrative support.

Learning Outcomes:

By the end of the internship, the intern will learn how to:

  • Prepare and plan for workshops with key stakeholders on an issue;
  • Understand and strategize around advocacy to key online platforms, social networks and search engines;
  • Review emerging technologies in the light of human rights and civic journalism needs and concerns.


Currently we are seeking interns enrolled in a 4 year undergraduate or graduate program with a preference for degrees in Computer Science or Human Rights/International Relations/Journalism. A strong background in computer science or open-source investigation will be a significant advantage. Applications of recent graduates who may be seeking the same type of mentorship and educational focus related to their career choice or educational background will also be considered.

The following would be beneficial for entering our program:

  • Understanding of advocacy;
  • Understanding of human rights and or/trends in journalism;
  • Ability to review scientific research and distill key insights;
  • Excellent research skills;
  • Strong written and verbal communication skills and attention to detail;
  • Ability to work independently as well as to multitask effectively;
  • Previous experience with development/fundraising, web-based database systems, or web design a plus.

General Information

We require a minimum commitment of 2 months, for 16-24 hours a week.  Internships are unpaid. All internships are based in our Brooklyn office, convenient to the Atlantic Terminal / Barclays Center (2,3,4,5, B, D, Q, N, & R trains), LIRR, and the C (Lafayette) and G (Fulton) trains.

Application Instructions

No phone inquiries, please. Please submit your application via email to including a Resume and Cover Letter with “AI and Emerging Threats Intern” in the Subject. Please include 3 references, of which at least 1 must be an academic contact.


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