The displacement of reality tests. The selection of individuals in the age of machine learning
Dominique Cardon, Jean-Marie John-Mathews
Publications – Communication
Cardon, Dominique and Jean-Marie John Matthews. 2021. "“The displacement of reality tests: The selection of individuals in the age of machine learning”: Workshop “People Like You: A New Political Arithmetic”, University of Warwick." Paper presented at the Workshop “People Like You: A New Political Arithmetic”, University of Warwick, UNITED KINGDOM, June 10-11. ⤤
This article presents an interpretation of the transformation of selection tests in our societies, such as competitive examinations, recruitment or competitive access to goods or services, based on the opposition between reality and world proposed by Luc Boltanski in On Critique. We would like to explore the change in the format of these selection tests. We argue that this change is made possible by a spectacular enlargement of the space for comparisons between candidates and by the implementation of machine learning techniques. But this shift is not the only and simple consequence of the introduction of the technological innovation brought by massive data and artificial intelligence. It finds justification in the institutions and organizations that order selection tests because this new test format claims to absorb the multiple criticisms that our societies constantly raise against the previous generations of tests. This is why we propose to interpret the attention and the development of these automated procedures as a technocratic response to the development of a critique of the categorical representation of society.