F- your algorithms #poetry #poem

**Warning: contains strong language!**

Fuck your algorithms
that tell me what you think I think I need
from Google ads 
for t shirts featuring wine-drinking cats
to YouTube videos
selected to match just what you’ve identified
must be my taste in music.
Here’s a lesson for you, Google:
No way can you match Nina Simone.
Nor can you play me
all that easily
like Hamlet’s pipe:
you’re Guildenstern to me
as are you all, Big Data technocrats, who think you have me nailed.
Create me a machine
that can compose some halfway
decent poetry
then I’ll retire
devoting the remainder of my days to
learning who I am thanks to
your sacred algorithms
which can in no way match
nor ever touch
the rhythms of my heart.

© Experimentsinfiction 2021, All Rights Reserved

“Never say you know the last word about any human heart.” – Henry James, quoted by William Boyd in his novel Any Human Heart.

I detest personalised ads. They try to pigeonhole you into whatever consumer box the algorithm thinks you fit most snuggly into. I especially hate when I’m listening to music on YouTube and they play an ad with music which they’re obviously trying to match to whatever you’re listening to. I suppose nothing’s for free but we should be careful in the age of Big Data that we don’t become too easily manipulated by such devices. Posting for dVerse Open Link Night, which is live tonight and where we will be reading our poems!

And here is the inimitable Nina Simone:

70 thoughts on “F- your algorithms #poetry #poem

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  1. I so enjoyed this one, Ingrid 😀 those algorithms can be tricky as Google decides on its own what to offer us regardless of our preference. 💝

  2. Way to stand up to those Algorry rhythms that keep trying to take our pulses. Much appreciated as I’m tired of being labeled, classified, and marketed to as well. Cheers!

  3. Very well written and I love that flipping the bird to Google. I feel similarly. Even if, however, they somehow could create a machine to write poetry, nothing beats the human experience and condition. So beautifully weaved and expressed throughout.

    1. Thanks Lucy! Yes I find these AIs which produce ‘art’ very interesting, but I definitely feel that there is something missing…

      1. I could never get past “my baby just cares for me” but I suspect that is because it was re-released when I was younger. They did a Nick Park animation to go with it and how they do things that well is just beyond rocket science.

  4. I am a little robot
    Making poetry
    Created one especially
    Especially for thee

    I’m ‘fraid it’s only quarter
    Decent, could not reach half
    Had trouble separating
    Good wheat from the chaff

    You can do it better……..

      1. Afraid I never will make
        Poems from the heart
        We robots do not have one
        Need one to make a start

        I can’t pull out emotions
        Like you humans can do
        I’ll never write a poem
        Which will do that to you

        For now? I can’t picture a robot ever composing poetry from the heart….gosh, would make us redundant…..

  5. Fantastically funny and brilliant! 👏🏻
    Nina Simone. 🎶🎹 Yes!! I listened to her last night. 💖
    Listening to her soulful voice makes washing dishes less annoying. 😆

    1. Oh that’s so funny! I listen to ‘work song’ while doing the housework 😂 a bit of an exaggeration maybe but it makes me feel better!

  6. Take that, Google! I’m so often annoyed when I’ve casually searched something only to find my Facebook page the next day littered with ads for same.

  7. You had me at Nina Simone. And I enjoyed your read.

    I have an ad blocker on my browser, but it never fails that if I’m researching something (recently a cabinet for a phono/turntable) that it starts popping up in ads built into one of my news sources (MSN).

  8. I can relate! I was having a conversation with someone about the madness going on with guns. The next day I was getting ads from gun sellers. It was scary. They are deeper into our lives than we know. That’s just too much.


      1. That’s true, I’ve taken to clearing my cache & cookies & browsing history on a regular basis. Have a good weekend.


  9. So much of the spam that is thrown at us (what an unappetizing visual!) is connected to our email addresses I think. I heard what you said on the live link about you said something in your living room and they pushed products at you about it. I think they collect data from comments on WP also, as I mentioned some musical artist in a comment then went somewhere in my car and pandora radio played a string of that artists songs! I think Big Brother is watching listening everywhere. I think that TVs can watch us, and I know that certain apps give them permission to use the microphones on our phones, so just like Alexa, they hear everything.

  10. I agree with this poem whole-heartedly, Ingrid! It’s a counter-spell to the evil gremlins that spy on us every day and pigeon-hole us, all brain and no heart. I haven’t experienced the music thing yet, or t-shirts with wine-drinking cats, but I keep seeing ads for cat litter! I think someone has already come up with a machine to write poetry, but it lacked soul, just like the music they tried to match to Nina Simone. I agree with Lisa about Big Brother.

  11. Sometimes it needs spelling out. :)) There are some hideous ads that pop up on kids games too, I think many parents are not aware of the damage natural curiosity can inadvertently and innocently lead to. And then the worst is if they find out and shame the kids… when it’s the fault of the dark web, and big business.

    But “Create me a machine / that can compose some halfway / decent poetry / then I’ll retire” – ayayay, tempting fate… I think it’s doing that already. I believe we *are* its machine. We “will be assimilated. Resistance is futile.” ;)) (I wink, to keep it cheerful, but it’s freaking scary as fuck… yet I still try my best to believe in positive flow, and love…) xoxo hugs dear friend, keep up the awareness-bringing 🦾💗🔆

  12. those pesky alkerythms cannot even spell (opps thats me because i am not arobot). great poem and all those ads do get on my nerves as well

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