Hmm. “I’m not an algorithm,” said Neil Gorsuch “judges practice and hopefully we get better at it with time” #mscedc

Neil Gorsuch is taking part in a US Senate Hearing regarding his nomination by Donald Trump as a Supreme Court Justice.

These quotes came from a very tactical conversation held over several days.


What interests me here is the rhetorical play of humanising (or distancing a human being) from an algorithm. Was it just one of “the most dad of dad jokes“, or is there more at play here? I think there is more.

Gorsuch both down-plays the learning abilities of an algorithm (a much debated issue within AI conversations, as seen elsewhere in this Lifestream), and suggests that judges are not cyborgs. There is no sense of entanglement within his comment. Algorithms are not human in their characteristics, it seems. Or are they? Aren’t they rather like their human inventors, in at least some ways?

It’s a clever line from Gorsuch, playing to a current cultural meme, but it deserves further deconstruction and analysis. And is a quote which will probably look more and more interesting with the passing of time. I wonder how it will read in 2067, for instance. Perhaps, by then, we’ll have a clearer view of algorithms – and, perhaps, also Supreme Court Justice nominees.