Tim Cook Believes Algorithms are Causing More Harm Than Good

Apple CEO Believes Humanity is at Risk – Well, in the Music World

With great technology comes great responsibility. Apple CEO Tim Cook believes that technology is going too far when it comes to our consumption of music. In a recent interview, Cook flat out states: “We worry about the humanity being drained out of music, about it becoming a bits-and-bytes kind of world instead of the art and craft.” The full article can be read here on Fast Company.

The belief is that the “populated” playlist is ripping the soul out of true musical curation. With Spotify playlists featuring algorithms that are custom-tailored to the individual, the idea that “algorithms are eroding music’s spiritual role in our lives” holds some weight. Gone are the days of sifting through hours of vinyl. Lost are the minutes spent recording cassette “mix tapes” for a love interest. However, one must ask – is this necessarily a bad thing?

The fact remains that music inundates the consumer in so many different ways, the individual chooses ease over depth. However, since the algorithms are so thorough, playlist creation is now more accurate and concise then ever. With millions of options, who wouldn’t want a personalized playlist without the effort of seeking it out? Here is another article from Financial Times which argues this point.

The other devil in play is now and musicians know this. They now gear their releases towards singles and EPs versus the old school LP. Track hits have to hit fast and engage the user quickly, all the while having enough reach to appear on multiple playlists. Cook argues that music overall is in decline because of what these algorithms place focus on.

We urge you to form your own opinion on the matter. Where do you stand?