Our devices are listening to us. Previous generations of audio-technology transmitted, recorded or manipulated sound. Today our digital voice assistants, smart speakers, and a growing range of related technologies are increasingly able to analyse and respond to it as well. Scientists and engineers increasingly refer to this as “machine listening”, though the first widespread use of the term was in computer music. Machine listening is much more than just a new scientific discipline or vein of technical innovation however. It is also an emergent field of knowledge-power, of data extraction and colonialism, of capital accumulation, automation and control. It demands critical and artistic attention.

This is an open curriculum for machine listening’s study.

Section 0 (’metacurriculum’) is about what the curriculum is, how it is structured, what is meant by openness, and what you might need to know to use or contribute to the curriculum.

Everything from Section 1 on is the curriculum itself, which grows additively and serially. In other words, it gets longer and longer. Rather than edit, rewrite, or delete entries, new additions build on, reframe, intervene in, or comment on existing ones.

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