The Tyranny of Algorithms

“In this sharp, urgent book, philosopher, psychoanalyst, and former resistance fighter Miguel Benasayag warns of the great danger posed by the growing role of big data and algorithms in deciding the contours of individual lives and the direction of the world. From mass surveillance to predictive law enforcement to data-driven social interactions, AI has already colonized most aspects of our lives and determines the decisions of companies, financial markets, and governments.

Structured as a conversation with anthropologist Régis Meyran, The Tyranny of Algorithms rejects the sterile dichotomy that sees the promise of a “transhuman” future placed in opposition to the desire for a return to a pre-digital past, and examines how societies might meet the unprecedented challenge posed by AI to personal freedom and democratic institutions.

The solution, argues Benasayag, doesn’t lie in the systemic rejection of advanced technologies and digital architectures but in the search for new forms of integration with machines that put human needs, bodies, and emotions at the center.”

Quote page 97: “In my view, situational action against the colonization of the living being by the machine – and not against the machine itself – has to be transgressive. We must develop sites of dysfunctionality, and I entrust that to the younger generations, who were born along with the digital world. A certain way of using the machine has colonized us, and now it’s up to us to construct experiences and practices of hybridization with technology that respect the singularity of the living being and of culture.”