Cracking Algorithmic Recommendation with Nick Seaver

Season 2, Episode 11

Algorithms run our lives these days, from Netflix binges to predictive policing. And that includes algorithmic  recommenders––like Spotify’s Discover Weekly and Pandora––that shape how we consume music. How does algorithmic music recommendation work and, perhaps more importantly, who makes it work? After all, algorithms are made and tweaked by people, who work at tech companies and have their own ideas and values.  An interview with anthropologist Nick Seaver, who has conducted years of ethnographic fieldwork to understand who creates algorithmic recommenders, and why they do what they do.

Nick Seaver is assistant professor of anthropology at Tufts University.

If you’re interested in learning more about Professor Seaver’s work, you can follow him on Twitter at @npseaver and check out:

Sound Expertise is hosted by Will Robin (@seatedovation), and produced by D. Edward Davis (@warmsilence). Please subscribe via Apple PodcastsStitcher, and/or Spotify. Questions or comments? Email williamlrobin@ gmail

A written transcript of this episode is available here; many thanks to Andrew Dell’Antonio for volunteering to prepare transcripts for the show!