michelle 
ohiggins



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Algorithms, identity, spirituality 


Horoscopes, fortunes and self-help are often dismissed for being so vague that they could apply to anyone. But what if you opened a fortune cookie to find the fortune inside had been algorithmically tailored to you?


To make these personalised fortunes, a Markov chain mode was fed with both the holistic language of self-help from the book ‘The Power of Now’, as well as data scraped from that day’s news headlines, generating a hybrid language of quasi-spiritual yet hyper-specific fortunes.

But how far can personalisation algorithms extend? Could these fortunes scrape data from your social media feed, your messages, calendar or diary to produce a fortune that can no longer be accused of being too vague.

 
October 2020