Over the past 25 years, the influence of technology on our lives has grown, to the point where what you buy, which news you read and which route you take are determined partly by far-reaching digitisation. Conversely, technology is becoming increasingly autonomous, as in the case of self-driving cars, for example. Philosopher Miriam Rasch wonders how you can be autonomous in an age where Facebook claims to know you better than your own mother. She searches for an answer to the question of whether we can still make ourselves autonomous, and whether we should want to do so. After all, what’s actually so bad about algorithms that know better than we do what’s good for us? And isn’t autonomy just a veiled form of egotism?
Miriam Rasch is a philosopher and essayist, and is affiliated with the Willem de Kooning Academy. In 2021, she won the Socrates Cup for her book Frictie. Ethiek in tijden van dataïsme (Friction. Ethics in Times of Dataism).