That personal assistant you carry in your pocket is obsessed with understanding you.
Machine learning technologies presuppose that machines are able to recognize patterns beyond human perception or comprehension. As these technologies are deployed by commercial and political interests for the unprecedented targeting of the human psyche, it’s a good time to raise questions about the technologies we take for granted. As we’ve conceded the term ‘learning’ to the computer, it’s also a good time to dig into technology’s epistemological project. These technologies, often for undisclosed reasons, have begun mining the dark reaches of the human subconscious. What role does the subconscious play in the way machines learn about and understand the human world?