That personal assistant you carry in your pocket is obsessed with understanding you. What role will the unconscious play in the way machines understand the human world? 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 be raising questions about technologies we’ve come to 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. What if these technologies, for undisclosed reasons, began mining the dark reaches of the human unconscious?