My subconscious according to Facebook
By Paolo Vigliotti
Lady Gaga. Washing Machines. Dogs. Vintage Clothes. A GDPR Request gave Paolo Vigliotti the opportunity to discover what the Facebook algorithms have determined he must be interested in.
With My subconscious according to Facebook Paolo researches and explains the way machine learning algorithms work: using various combinations and permutations of elements from his own interests list, Paolo used an algorithm that generates synthetic images from text input to create visual transitions from one interest to the other. The outcome is a metaphorical journey from the point of view of an algorithm: we are shown the algorithm slowly learning — trying, failing and finally succeeding in its attempt to create the perfect loop.
A digital footprint is a trail of data you create while using the Internet. It includes the websites you visit, emails you send, and information you submit to online services. A "passive digital footprint" is a data trail you unintentionally leave online. For example, when you visit a website, the web server may log your IP address, which identifies your Internet service provider and your approximate location. While your IP address may change and does not include any personal information, it is still considered part of your digital footprint. A more personal aspect of your passive digital footprint is your search history, which is saved by some search engines while you are logged in. [...] An "active digital footprint" includes data that you intentionally submit online. Sending an email contributes to your active digital footprint, since you expect the data be seen and/or saved by another person. The more email you send, the more your digital footprint grows. Since most people save their email online, the messages you send can easily remain online for several years or more. 
Ever lower milk prices were driving a dairy farmer to desperate measures. Two years ago, he tried "Beethoven for Bovines" in his barn and milk production dropped 2%. [...] So this year he drove to town to consult the ultimate power source: a theoretical physicist. The physicist listened to his problem, asked a few questions, and then said he'd take the assignment, and that it would take only a few hours to solve the problem. A few weeks later, the physicist phoned the farmer, "I've got the answer. The solution turned out to be a bit more complicated than I thought and I'm presenting it at this afternoon's Theory Seminar". At the seminar the farmer finds a handful of people drinking tea and munching on cookies---none of whom looks like a farmer. As the talk begins the physicist approaches the blackboard and draws a big circle. "First, we assume a spherical cow..." (Yes that is the punch line) 
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