From Matthew Crawford’s article, “Algorithmic Governance and Political Legitimacy“:
“One reason why algorithms have become attractive to elites is that they can be used to install the automated enforcement of cutting‑edge social norms…. The author of a forthcoming French book on artificial intelligence, herself an AI researcher, told me that she got a pitch recently from a start-up “whose aim was ‘to report workplace harassment and discrimination without talking to a human.’ They claim to be able to ‘use scientific memory and interview techniques to capture secure records of highly emotional events.’”
Presumably a scientifically “secure record” here means a description of some emotionally charged event that is shorn of ambiguity, and thereby tailored to the need of the system for clean inputs. A schematic description of inherently messy experience saves us the difficult, humanizing effort of interpretation and introspection, so we may be relieved to take up the flattened understanding that is offered us by the legibility-mongers.
Locating the authority of evolving social norms in a computer will serve to provide a sheen of objectivity, such that any reluctance to embrace newly announced norms appears, not as dissent, but as something irrational—as a psychological defect that requires some kind of therapeutic intervention.”