Online, a Genome Project for the World of Art

Internet recommendation engines are now the way we discover things, whether it’s music, photography, or art.

At first we thought the best recommendation engines were our friends. Then it turned out those we follow on Twitter, Tumblr, and Pinterest were sharing far more interesting stuff.

On top of the social engine though are experts. These experts huddle in a room and break down a song or piece of art. Their analysis is “then fed into an algorithm” which seeds to users based on their interests. In Pandora terms, this is called Music Genome Project. is mimicking the same model, leveraging the brain power of curators to grade works of art that it can then recommend to users based on their interests.

This expert recommendation engine is now being used across industries to help people discover new stuff. The process is time consuming but the human element is sometimes greater than the smartest algorithm based on category generalizations. It pays to be more specific.

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By Wells Baum

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