Developing an algorithmic eardrum

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Discovery requires effort. It's for this reason we outsource the work to algorithms. We don't want a list of items completely unfamiliar.

Spotify's Discover Weekly succeeds because it balances the unknown and the recognizable. Familiarity breeds trust. Algorithms are the new peer recommendations.

But behind every machine is a human engine. From the curators to the avant-garde, someone has to know the difference between the good and the bad and what makes a piece of art edgy.

Art stirs emotions and requires human sensibility. When it comes to algorithms, brains and emotions are still the equalizers, for now.

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By Wells Baum

Wells Baum is a daily blogger who writes about Life & Arts. He's also the author of four books.

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