The Damn Computer Just Owned Me

The Damn Computer Just Owned Me

I regret to inform I have been dragged absolutely, 100 percent all the way to hell by some sort of “machine learning” apparatus. It called me a “dweeb.” A dweeb! Does this algorithm want to fight?

Of course, I found this via Twitter, where people were already plugging their faces in after it was was posted by J.D. Schnepf, a postdoctoral fellow at Princeton:

“ImageNet Roulette is a provocation designed to help us see into the ways that humans are classified in machine learning systems. It uses a neural network trained on the ‘Person’ categories from the ImageNet dataset which has over 2,500 labels used to classify images of people,” the website informs. It’s part of an exhibit called “Training Humans” by Trevor Paglen and Kate Crawford at Milan’s Fondazione Prada museum. After learning that coworkers had been called “witch, enchantress” and also “widow, widow woman,” I had to know what the machine had to say about me, so I fired up my computer’s camera, took a snapshot, and waited for the results. Only to be informed by the Internet that I was a “nerd,” a “dweeb,” a “wonk,” and a “grind.” A nerd! A dweeb! A grind! A wonk! A WONK!!!!!! How dare this machine learning “provocation” accurately assess all my most glaringly dorky characteristics? This is an attack.

I have also been informed that a “SWOT” is someone who “likes school,”—which I suspect was a generous explanation—putting me in the uncomfortable position of being profoundly seen and also owned.

Technology? It’s bad.


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