Adrian Mackenzie: Machine Learners: Archaeology of a Data Practice (2017)

22 June 2018, dusan

“If machine learning transforms the nature of knowledge, does it also transform the practice of critical thought?

Machine learning—programming computers to learn from data—has spread across scientific disciplines, media, entertainment, and government. Medical research, autonomous vehicles, credit transaction processing, computer gaming, recommendation systems, finance, surveillance, and robotics use machine learning. Machine learning devices (sometimes understood as scientific models, sometimes as operational algorithms) anchor the field of data science. They have also become mundane mechanisms deeply embedded in a variety of systems and gadgets. In contexts from the everyday to the esoteric, machine learning is said to transform the nature of knowledge. In this book, Adrian Mackenzie investigates whether machine learning also transforms the practice of critical thinking.

Mackenzie focuses on machine learners—either humans and machines or human-machine relations—situated among settings, data, and devices. The settings range from fMRI to Facebook; the data anything from cat images to DNA sequences; the devices include neural networks, support vector machines, and decision trees. He examines specific learning algorithms—writing code and writing about code—and develops an archaeology of operations that, following Foucault, views machine learning as a form of knowledge production and a strategy of power. Exploring layers of abstraction, data infrastructures, coding practices, diagrams, mathematical formalisms, and the social organization of machine learning, Mackenzie traces the mostly invisible architecture of one of the central zones of contemporary technological cultures.

Mackenzie’s account of machine learning locates places in which a sense of agency can take root. His archaeology of the operational formation of machine learning does not unearth the footprint of a strategic monolith but reveals the local tributaries of force that feed into the generalization and plurality of the field.”

Publisher MIT Press, November 2017
ISBN 9780262036825, 0262036827
272 pages
via A.B.

Publisher
WorldCat

PDF
Draft and code samples on GIT

David Blamey, Brad Haylock (eds.): Distributed (2018)

22 June 2018, dusan

“The power of knowledge lies not only in generating ideas, but also in controlling their dispersion. For those who would seek to influence others, the dissemination of ideas is paramount. For those looking to protect the fruits of intellectual labor for reasons of profit or ethics, distribution is something to control. Either way, distribution is a key concern across the spectrum of cultural production, particularly at a time when digital networks have facilitated an unprecedented access to audiences.

Bringing together contributors from a variety of backgrounds, Distributed presents the act of distribution as a subject of significant social and economic importance and argues that it merits serious creative consideration. From the attention-seeking impulse of the “influencer” to the democratization of art via books, performances, videos or sound, the increased urge to disseminate is explored here as an elemental phenomenon of our time.”

Texts by Ahmed Ansari, Stuart Bertolotti-Bailey, Justin Clemens, Alex Coles, Jonathan Lindley, Neil Cummings, Arnaud Desjardin, Markus Miessen, Sean Dockray & Benjamin Forster, Billie Muraben, Patricia Reed, Adrian Shaughnessy, Freek Lomme, Eva Weinmayr, et al.

Publisher Open Editions, London, 2018
ISBN 9780949004093
252 pages

Publisher
WorldCat

PDF

Walter D. Mignolo, Catherine E. Walsh: On Decoloniality: Concepts, Analytics, Praxis (2018)

20 June 2018, dusan

“In On Decoloniality Walter D. Mignolo and Catherine E. Walsh explore the hidden forces of the colonial matrix of power, its origination, transformation, and current presence, while asking the crucial questions of decoloniality’s how, what, why, with whom, and what for. Interweaving theory-praxis with local histories and perspectives of struggle, they illustrate the conceptual and analytic dynamism of decolonial ways of living and thinking, as well as the creative force of resistance and re-existence. This book speaks to the urgency of these times, encourages delinkings from the colonial matrix of power and its ‘universals’ of Western modernity and global capitalism, and engages with arguments and struggles for dignity and life against death, destruction, and civilizational despair.”

Publisher Duke University Press, Durham, 2018
ISBN 9780822370949, 0822370948
xiii+291 pages

Publisher
WorldCat

PDF (3 MB)