Can an algorithm replace a cultural specialist?

When asked if the algorithms of digital platforms can replace cultural specialists, the answer today is clear: a resounding NO. But why? is the favorite question of some readers at the moment. Well calm down, in this article we are going to detail the argument that makes a random recommendation still has no way of hitting the key on the following content to be displayed by the user within the personal tastes of each individual in something as personal as the music or art.

The teacher, Martín Scorsese explained it perfectly in an interview that we will show below where his opinion was asked within his professional field, where he intervenes as a screenwriter, producer and director of many American cinema films.

Like "terrorism" that justifies any war or "the crisis" that justifies any reduction in public spending, the "algorithms" are used to NOT hire specialists in culture when establishing the recommendations of a channel. The worst thing is that "the algorithms" when it comes to culture are absolutely ineffective. The case above (Taylor VS Clayderman, real case, happened to me in July 2020), is just a sample. I had asked for “free jazz”, but since I spent a long time listening to one of the best free jazz pianists in history, the “algorithm” thought: Hey, this one likes the piano and it seems that the one with the blonde hair plays well! plays well! (referring to Richard Clayderman)!.

Cecil Taylor (on the left) and Richard Clayderman (on the right) in a comparative montage.

Cecil Taylor (on the left) and Richard Clayderman (on the right) in a comparative montage.


And so it is. Martín Scorsese took part in this interview at LATERCERA.COM where he addressed opinion issues on algorithms, streaming platforms and content curation, making comparisons of the rapid evolution of the world of cinema in recent years.

Crossing the theme of automated algorithms in a generic way before critics and professionals of culture, cannot lead to points of understanding. For this reason, the teacher Martín Scorsese asked himself: «What happens to art?».

Internet has meant a brutal democratization of information, never seen before, but how do we get to that information? Google takes 96% of the searches carried out, so we are trusting that this search engine has all the information and is also "neutral". In other words, it does not filter one piece of information over another based on certain interests. Let's hope so, theories to the contrary would be the subject of another (long) article. But Google is based on algorithms, more visits or better SEO (following different techniques to position a page of your website in Google search engines for a certain word) corresponds to a better position in the results.

El director de cine estadounidense, Martín Scorsese opina sobre los algoritmos de recomendación.
Martin Scorsese in a file image.

“A situation has been created in which everything is presented to the viewer on equal terms, which sounds democratic but it is not. If the algorithms 'suggest' more viewing based on what you've already seen, and the suggestions are based only on theme or genre, what does that do to the art of cinema?

questioned MARTIN SCORSESE thinks about the algorithms in this interview in La Tercera

Hasta que el desarrollo de Inteligencia Artificial no sea a nivel de ciencia ficción, el software no podrá definir propuestas coherentes en temas de cultura o arte. No podrá saber sobre cosas como el background cultural de cada persona. Es demasiado complicado y poco cuantificable.  Porque claro, ¿cómo describirías la emoción que nos llena al leer poesía? ¿Por qué nos gustan unos poetas y no otros? ¡Explicale eso a un programa si eres capaz y ahora pídele que lo lleve a cabo un algoritmo de manera individualista en las recomendaciones de cada persona según sus preferencias!

Digital Culture is the platform to enjoy online music concerts without automated recommendations in its algorithm

It was precisely this that made Digital Culture a necessity. A need to offer users who enjoy the quality of art and music, specifically within this area, an experience of free choice regarding the consumption of content, to leave them the option of determining the path without randomization. that they want to trace in their leisure time and enjoy in its maximum splendor.

In our section of Music concerts, you will be able to choose from a multitude of styles on what content you like to enjoy it at any time and at the end of your choice, you will have to choose again which one is next. And yes, we are in favor that LESS is MORE, but for a simple reason that the algorithms will not give you the right customization all the time.