Marie-Claude Lacroix – Future. With or without a subject?

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Which future? In this issue, three authors encourage us to be vigilant in the face of a “progress” of prediction, forecasting and statistics. Thus, psychoanalysis is like a combat ethics. And perhaps we can re-read Walter Benjamin: The Angel of the Future [1].

What has artificial intelligence become today? Patrick Pax, communication systems engineer, offers us a quick history. The inner workings of the brain remain an enigma, and research focuses more on the analytic capacity of our intelligence rather than on “intuition, creativity, the unconscious, or our emotional side.” However, he points out that existing applications which focus on prediction, data mining or robotics, are shaping a world of domination.

If preliminary scientific trials may have allowed patients to escape the fantasies of caregivers, more recent developments are subjecting them to a new fantasy of certain professionals: the “reduction of the human to a neural network”. Araceli Teixido carefully examines the displacement of “organic causality towards psychic causality” and that which permits analytical work under transference.

Finally, Despina Andropoulou invites us to decode the medical world of the future as referenced by Nobel Prize winner in Chemistry, Aaron Ciechanover: above all a genome analysis can facilitate more effective prevention as well as personalized treatment. But the patient’s participation in treatment is necessary, and he responds qua “enjoying subject [sujet jouissant]”. This remains a “head-scratcher” for scientists!

Translation: Raphael Montague

[1] Benjamin, W., Œuvres III, Paris, Gallimard, 2000, p. 434: “This tempest pushes him irresistibly towards the future to which he turns his back, while the heap of ruins [der Trümmerhaufen] before him rises to the sky. This tempest is what we call progress”. [My Translation]

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