Document Type


Publication Date


Publication Title

Consortium: An International Journal of Literary and Cultural Studies








The human world continues to be ever more entangled with the nebulous realms of the digital. The digital lives of humans are constantly viewed, analyzed, and organized by the use of Machine Learning (ML) and Artificial Intelligence (AI) as tools of governments, institutions, and corporations. Digital-machines are able to harvest massive swaths of data from users the world over including discursive elements and biometrics; accumulating the essences of what it means to dwell in a digital world. Although such digital-machines, and the algorithms on which they operate, are becoming more and more complex, they are still viewed as a tool with what Martin Heidegger deemed a "readiness-to-hand" type of Being. By reconsidering the subject-object paradigm, the potential for digital-machines to be subjects in and of themselves open the doors for questions relating to the existence of non-human digital-machine-Beings. One such question is that of what the digital-machine actually "sees." This act of the digital-machine "seeing" is deemed the Machine Gaze. Therefore thinking through what the digital-machine may "see" and contemplating how contemporary framing of it within the bounds of "readiness-to-hand"; offers new and exciting perspectives on future human and digital-machine interaction. Furthermore, this effort considers the role of anthropocentrism in the way in which the Machine Gaze has encountered data as a primary factor in how digital-machines will view and act in the world of Being. This is important because such Posthumanist thinking (or a lack thereof) may affect how the digital-machine dwells in the world, iterates itself, and reframes Being for itself and for humans.

Original Publication Citation

Nieubuurt, J. (2021). The digital gaze: Anthropomorphic reflections of future posthuman reality. Consortium: An International Journal of Literary and Cultural Studies, 1(2), 1-11.