He also seems to have forgotten that Google Play uses human-curated playlists.

The boss of Google’s parent company Alphabet has launched a thinly veiled attack on the philosophy underlying Apple’s streaming service, calling it “elitist”.

In an article penned exclusively for BBC News, Schmidt spoke about how he sees artificial intelligence developing, touching on its use in music.

“In the next generation of software, machine learning won’t just be an add-on that improves performance a few percentage points; it will really replace traditional approaches,” Schmidt writes.

“To give just one example: 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.

“As a bonus, it’s a much less elitist taste-making process – much more democratic – allowing everyone to discover the next big star through our own collective tastes and not through the individual preferences of a select few.”

Schmidt doesn’t mention exactly who he’s referring to, but Apple Music has made a lot of noise about the genre experts creating playlists for its service, as well as hiring figures like Zane Lowe to assist with its Beats 1 radio.

What Schmidt seems to have forgotten is that Google Play also uses human curators, having acquiring playlist service Songza in 2014 to give its own content an edge.

Google Play was launched back in 2013, though it’s struggled to unseat Spotify from its dominant position – in June it allowed anyone to listen to its very human-curated playlists for free. [via 9to5Mac]



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