Keywords: Umberto Eco; The Role of the Reader; Lists; Algorithms; Interpretation.
This essay critically examines how readers/interpreters navigate interactions with algorithms as lists and texts. As algorithms become an increasingly pervasive and permanent aspect of our digital landscape, we must consider their consequences, particularly as they assume the task of textual analysis and interpretation. Eco’s warning and response are significant when considering the implications for interpretation, culture, and memory. Eco’s commitments to the reader’s role in interpretation, signification, communication, and the performative practice of listing guide responses to the threats posed to contemporary society due to its reliance on algorithmic processing.