[NetBehaviour] Uncertain Substance

Tom Keene tom at theanthillsocial.co.uk
Thu Aug 9 17:10:06 CEST 2012

Hi All,
Thought I'd share a project that I've been working on for my MA on
Interactive media at Goldsmiths:

A speech recognition algorithm searches radio waves for conversations about
money. As an ongoing investigation of the Viterbi algorithm, this project
seeks to understand the agency of a mathematical entity that operates as
structural thread within the fabric of contemporary society.

Conceived in 1966 the Viterbi was originally used for digital signal
processing where it detects and corrects errors in digital codes. Its use
has subsequently extended through the technologies of speech recognition,
DNA analysis, video encryption, deep space, and wireless communications
systems. Physical manifestations of this algorithm exists as microchips
installed in billions of mobile devices worldwide, enabling communications
networks to permeate every conceivable space, blurring distinction between
home, work and social environments.

Used to identify patterns and trends of human behaviour, the Viterbi plays
a role in automated systems that interpret, record and report on human
activity. These systems increasingly make economic decisions, govern
response to crime, disaster, health and manage the everyday flow of cities.
The Viterbi operates at a deep social level as it constructs new sets of
social relations and radically shapes the development of our cities.
Tom :)
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