Jonathan Leroy – The Dictatorship of the Algorithm

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a-kephalos continues to offer you “carte blanche” from our correspondents in the various regions of the EuroFederation of Psychoanalysis.

From Athens, Marina Frangiadaki tells us about a piece of software – Cry Translator – designed to help mothers to translate the cries of their child, in order to respond adequately. The promise is that mothers will no longer have to interpret – and soon, if we’re not careful, analysts either!

All the way from Madrid, Carmen Cuñat unveils the series The Good Doctor, which features a young surgeon diagnosed with autism and whose brain seems to benefit from an exceptional algorithmic power, thus producing a perfect worker. That will no doubt cause some people’s dream. Not us. Especially since something escapes his extraordinary brain: the ethical questions evoked by his work […] and an encounter with a woman who pleases him. Of course the algorithm is destined to stumble – otherwise there would be no story!

The triumph of Science and Capitalism brings to the market a multiplicity of digital gadgets and various software programs hosted in our smartphones, all relying on algorithms. Via these programs, by training or by direct intervention in the brain, the ambition is to help our brain function as efficiently as an algorithm. All for the good of the consumer – because it is through wanting the good for us that this discourse aims to govern us.

Faced with this totalitarian ideal, this week’s texts invite us to be humble before the limit stop of the unconscious and the opacity of jouissance.

Translation: Raphael Montague

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