How do I quantify my love for you? Is it in the number of heart emojis I send? Is it in the word cloud or text analysis of our Valentine’s cards? Is in the syncing of our mapped paths on our daily “outdoor walk” under “Activity”? Can you read my facial expression through your facial recognition software and align it with deep feelings of attachment and wonder? Do my cumulative Airbnb searches reveal my abiding love and affection, or render true my desire for time away with those I love?

We may make rough guesses through algorithms to determine sentiment, but no number, figure, or pool of data deep will ever capture why we love. This is the purpose of songs, poetry, and art, from sweeping dances and lyric poetry to intimate portraits, all in the name of capturing something about the nature of love. Even then, the job is left incomplete. All of humanity leans towards it. How do I qualify my love?

Writer, researcher, observer