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Amazon can read your mind: a media archaeology of the algorithmic imaginary
chapterposted on 17.10.2019, 11:15 by Simone Natale
The chapter interrogates how notions and concepts of occult and supernatural meanings are applied to describing and discussing digital media, focusing on the case of applications of notions of mind reading to computer algorithms. It examines the concept of mind reading as a keyword whose definition and meaning wavered between different forms of knowledge, from parapsychology to cybernetics and computer science. Popularized by parapsychology, the concept of mind reading has been employed to describe algorithms that recognize feelings and mental states of humans, or that anticipate the behavior of users and consumers, providing them with tailored offers and services. Excavating the media archaeology of “mind reading computers” helps provides a viewpoint into the ways notions and narratives related to the supernatural enter the cultural imaginary of digital media and technologies.
- Social Sciences
- Communication, Media, Social and Policy Studies