The BBC has been running a series of articles on the Intelligent Machine, describing the changes in the world that have been - and are being - wrought by artificial intelligence and machine learning. The latest article is an interview with Alphabet (nee Google) chairman Eric Schmidt.
In article that mostly talks about turning the art of the possible into the actual and available Schmidt uses music services as an example of how machine learning delivers a better service to listeners, helping surface new artists that match their existing tastes.
There's a neat little barb dropped in there too.
"A decade ago, to launch a digital music service, you probably would have enlisted a handful of elite tastemakers to pick the hottest new music." Schmidt writes.
It's hard to argue with his sentiment. Do we want to be told what music we should be listening too or do we want to find new music we'll enjoy because it matches what we currently like? Personally I find the idea of a curated service like Beats 1 to be laughable, but then I have used services like Last.fm to discover new music for so long that being told what to listen to seems far too fascist to me.
The way streaming services are changing the landscape of music, democratizing the art of creation and giving every artist the same potential audience absolutely mitigates against human creation. There is just too much new music out there to ever make that a usable model.
Machine learning may be still in its infancy, but for music at least, it should be the present and future of music discovery.