Sex robots, smart condoms, virtual partners, dating apps and artificially intelligent chatbots. The economies of love, and of desire, are radically transformed in the age of digital data. Desire is re-mapped in political and corporate ways, and a new blueprint for the sexual future is becoming visible. Contra Badiou, love has become inseparable from politics, in this case the politics of technology. What is missing from discussions of such emergent tools is the fact that they operate on their subjects lidibinally. As such, only psychoanalysis can help us to understand these transformations to the very relationship between subject and object of desire in the smart city of today.
Alfie Bown is author of In the Event of Laughter: Literature, Comedy and Psychoanalysis (Bloomsbury, 2018), The Playstation Dreamworld (Polity, 2017) and Enjoying It: Candy Crush and Capitalism (Zero Books, 2015). He is editor of Everyday Analysis and writes for The Guardian and The Paris Review, among other publications.
- ‘Love in the Age of Data’ by Alfie Bown (Los Angeles Review of Books)
- ‘Tech is turning love into a rightwing game’ by Alfie Bown (TheGuardian)