Eric Schmidt, executive chairman of Google parent company Alphabet, has made a thinly-veiled attack on Apple Music in a BBC op-ed on artificial intelligence. He described human-curated music selections as a decade out of data and an elitist approach.
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.
Today, you’re much better off building a smart system that can learn from the real world – what actual listeners are most likely to like next – and help you predict who and where the next Adele might be …
Schmidt said that using AI to do the job was less elitist and more democratic.
Apple has made much of the fact that it blends both algorithms and human curation to deliver what it believes is the best of both worlds.
You can’t do everything humanly curated, and you can’t do everything with algorithms. We have what we believe is the best of both.
What Schmidt appears to have overlooked is that Google’s own streaming music service, Google Play Music, added a radio station back in June, with the company highlighting human curation of the tracks.
Our team of music experts, including the folks who created Songza, crafts each station song by song so you don’t have to. If you’re looking for something specific, you can browse our curated stations by genre, mood, decade or activity, or you can search for your favorite artist, album or song to instantly create a station of similar music.
Schmidt’s comments may well be influenced by the fact that Apple recently confirmed that it is launching an Android for Apple Music “in the fall.” Cam Bunton’s comparison of the two services will give you an idea of what to expect.