July 19, 2013

How Google Music Works (They Don’t Just Rely On Algorithms!)

In computing, a lower level idea of programming comes from the fact that computers only understand the directions that they are given.  Every program follows an algorithm and will only continue to do what it is supposed to do.  The upper level of programming comes from a human need, and focuses on what computers can actually do for us.  A toaster or microwave is an example of a tool that is fit for human use, but relies on deep seated programming in order to function.  The natural question that comes from the bottom of all of this is, “What role will human have in the future?”  The thought that we will become irrelevant is sort of scary.

Strangely enough, even simple human tasks are hard for human to do.  For example, filtering out spam emails from actual emails can create false positives in an automated system.  So if that is true, can algorithms also fail?  Some think so.  Music qualities and identification processes can be charted and mapped to a certain degree, but there comes a point where simple human thought can make up for what a robot cannot fathom.  Perhaps the music genome project will rely on humans in the future.