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 now 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, capital accumulation, automation and the management of desire. It demands critical and artistic attention.