In today’s data-driven world, it’s perhaps only fitting that the modern-day mix tape was brought to life by an algorithm. In 2000, Pandora burst onto the scene, offering people a new kind of radio; breaking songs down into basic components, categorizing them and streaming playlists tailor-fit to listeners’ personal preferences. To date, there are over 250 million registered Pandora users—clearly, the creators of this platform were onto something.
The man behind the complex categorization system that powers Pandora (the Music Genome Project) is chief musicologist, Nolan Gasser, who recently posed the question: “How can we make use of that information to make our lives better?” To answer that question, he turned to music therapists, who show us day after day how music can in fact make our lives better—especially when something goes wrong. Today, we explore the possibly of Gasser’s relation-identifying algorithm making an even deeper impact than it has already made. Continue reading