Computing Taste: Care and Control in Algorithmic Music Recommendation

A talk by Nick Seaver about work in his upcoming book, Computing Taste: Algorithms and Makers of Music Recommendation. Nick Seaver is an assistant professor of Anthropology at Tufts University, where he also directs the program in Science, Technology & Society.

Book cover for "Computing Taste: Algorithms and the Makers of Music Recommendation" by Nick Seaver. White background with multicolored clusters of points spread across it, representing data-derived taste clusters The people who make music recommender systems have lofty goals: they want to broaden listeners’ horizons and help obscure musicians find audiences, taking advantage of the enormous catalogs of music streaming services. But for their critics, recommender systems seem to embody all the potential harms of algorithms: they flatten culture into numbers, they normalize ever-broadening data collection, and they profile their users for commercial ends. This talk presents the results of several years of ethnographic fieldwork with makers of music recommendation in the US, describing how they navigate the tensions between care and control in the construction of algorithmic systems.

10 Sachem Street Room 105 (In-person)

The talk will begin at 3:30PM.


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