Something and Nothing: On algorithmic deletion, accountability and value

Neyland, Daniel. 2018. Something and Nothing: On algorithmic deletion, accountability and value. Science and Technology Studies, 31(4), ISSN 2243-4690 [Article]

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Abstract or Description

This paper draws on a three year ethnographic study of the development of an algorithmic surveillance system. It explores ways of understanding the doing and undoing, something and nothing of algorithmic video analytics. The paper pursues a means for engaging with something and nothing by initially drawing on treatments of calculation and qualculation to explore doing. It then seeks to broaden out qualculation by drawing in distinct provocations – blank figures and motility – to engage with forms of undoing. The paper uses the ethnographic study of the algorithmic surveillance system as a means to reflect on the analytic utility of this approach. The conclusion considers three points on something and nothing that this project generated and that could be developed further in future research.

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algorithms, deletion, value, accountability

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6 July 2018Accepted
15 December 2018Published

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Date Deposited:

28 Aug 2018 14:23

Last Modified:

29 Apr 2020 16:49

Peer Reviewed:

Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.


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