The algorithms are coming! Are they gonna kill us all?
My bet is: no, they won’t.
Technology makes humans’ lives easier and better. It always has done, and it’s my bet that it always will do.
For maybe 3 years now, I’ve been using Spotify’s Discover Weekly playlist to find new music that I like. The algorithm analyses the music I’ve listened to recently and attempts to predict what else I might like.
Some weeks, I dislike nearly every track the algorithm suggests. Other weeks, almost every track delights my soul.
Each week, I select the tracks I like and add them to a Spotify playlist, so I can listen to them again later. I discard the rest.
Recently, this process has culminated in me producing SoulMelt, a 2-hour Spotify playlist of my current favourite music. It all feels deeply meaningful to me, in a spiritual way.
Technology does most of the heavy lifting for us, but it’s humans who will always choose what is meaningful.Bollinger, R. 2019