Writing with Robots
I seem to be learning to write again, this time with a machine reader in mind. Since the software — in my case, Boldgrid — IS an algorithm, it performs the function of a robotic acquisitions editor. It has fixed priorities, specific demands for length and pattern. It can hardly get enough repetition. For some reason I image it as a guy, a marketing guy.
I instinctively resent it. It’s bossy and has the imagination of a toaster. But I am writing for algorithms. Or, to put a slightly better face on it, I’m writing in cooperation with assistance from a relatively simple algorithm in the hope of making contact with another human who also cooperates with the algorithm and who may share some of my human interests and anxieties. Among those anxieties is, of course, the thought that despite the all the claims to “care about your privacy”, my reader may turn out to be another algorithm.