EurekAlert: When consumers trust AI recommendations–or resist them

EurekAlert: When consumers trust AI recommendations–or resist them. “Researchers from Boston University and University of Virginia published a new paper in the Journal of Marketing that examines how consumers respond to AI recommenders when focused on the functional and practical aspects of a product (its utilitarian value) versus the experiential and sensory aspects of a product (its hedonic value).”

Vice: How to Game Spotify and Instagram’s Algorithms to Help Artists

Vice: How to Game Spotify and Instagram’s Algorithms to Help Artists. “Now that in-person live music is no longer a reality, there are few ways to directly support musicians. You can subscribe to artist Patreons and donate through links on Spotify artist pages, but most importantly, you should be buying music and merch, especially through Bandcamp, during their monthly Bandcamp Friday 100 percent commission days. These are necessary and important steps to take to ensure touring artists can weather the pandemic. But there are also ways to give them a boost that don’t require spending any money: Simply follow the artists you like and save their songs on your streaming platform.”

The Walrus: How Algorithms Are Changing What We Read Online

The Walrus: How Algorithms Are Changing What We Read Online. I hate those articles that end up being sneakily horribly depressing. “LAST NOVEMBER, I stopped writing a regular column on art and culture for the Globe and Mail, my job for almost twenty years. Nobody noticed. I did not receive a single reader’s letter. I had a polite message from my section editor. He was sorry things didn’t work out and hoped we could stay in touch. The note contained no sense of symbolic occasion. I knew what I did was no longer important, either to the national culture or to the newspaper’s bottom line.”

The Next Web: Mozilla needs your help to expose YouTube’s recommendation algorithm

The Next Web: Mozilla needs your help to expose YouTube’s recommendation algorithm. “After installing the RegretsReporter and playing a YouTube video, you can click the frowning face icon in your browser to report the video, the recommendations that led you to it, and any extra details on ‘your regret.’ Mozilla researchers will then search for patterns that led to the recommendations.”

Mashable: Algorithms control your online life. Here’s how to reduce their influence.

Mashable: Algorithms control your online life. Here’s how to reduce their influence.. “The world in 2020 has been given plenty of reasons to be wary of algorithms. Depending on the result of the U.S. presidential election, it may give us one more. Either way, it’s high time we questioned the impact of these high-tech data-driven calculations, which increasingly determine who or what we see (and what we don’t) online.”

Mashable: This website lets you see how conspiracy theorists fall down the YouTube rabbit hole

Mashable: This website lets you see how conspiracy theorists fall down the YouTube rabbit hole. “Ever wonder how your dear Aunt Karen got radicalized into believing the bizarre conspiracy theories she shares on social media? What about your apolitical college buddy who suddenly can’t seem to stop complaining about social justice and ‘cancel culture’? Well, there’s a good chance they fell down the YouTube rabbit hole. And a new website, TheirTube, wants to show you how that happened.”

Engadget: YouTube’s tweaks to recommend fewer conspiracy videos seem to be working

Engadget: YouTube’s tweaks to recommend fewer conspiracy videos seem to be working. “As of January of 2019 — and after facing public backlash — YouTube promised to curb the amount of conspiracy videos it pushes to users. A study published by the University of California, Berkeley states that these efforts do seem to be working, and that their analyses show a 40% reduction in the likelihood of YouTube suggesting conspiracy-based content.”

TechCrunch: Bookshlf launches an app to curate and share your favorite digital content

TechCrunch: Bookshlf launches an app to curate and share your favorite digital content . “Bookshlf has created a new way for people to recommend media — whether it’s music, videos, articles, podcasts or even tweets — to their friends and to the rest of the world. The New York-based startup is officially launching its web and iOS app this week and announcing that David A. Steinberg, co-founder and CEO of marketing company Zeta Global, has signed on as both an investor and advisor.”

Reclaim the Net: New tool “De-Mainstream” allows YouTube users to blacklist mainstream media for a more authentic experience

Reclaim the Net: New tool “De-Mainstream” allows YouTube users to blacklist mainstream media for a more authentic experience. “The extension blocks certain media outlets from YouTube search and recommendations while also making YouTube Trending showcase the most popular videos based on view counts.” The extension doesn’t have many Chrome users yet. I did check, and it limits its data processing to YouTube sites only. The project is also on GitHub.

Neowin: Spotify is testing a Tastebuds feature to discover music through your friends

Neowin: Spotify is testing a Tastebuds feature to discover music through your friends. “Spotify often comes up with new ways to expand the social aspect of music listening, introducing new ways to share music with others, and even simultaneously control playback with friends. Now, as discovered by well-known reverse engineer Jane Manchun Wong, it looks like Spotify is planning another social feature for its app.”

CNET: YouTube CEO defends site’s recommendation system amid scrutiny

CNET: YouTube CEO defends site’s recommendation system amid scrutiny. “As YouTube deals with an onslaught of controversies, from the spread of extremism to child sexual exploitation issues, critics have called out the site’s powerful recommendation system, which uses algorithms to drive people to new content.”

CNET: Mozilla is sharing YouTube horror stories to prod Google for more transparency

CNET: Mozilla is sharing YouTube horror stories to prod Google for more transparency. “Mozilla is publishing anecdotes of YouTube viewing gone awry — anonymous stories from people who say they innocently searched one thing but eventually ended up in a dark rabbit hole of videos. It’s a campaign aimed at pressuring Google’s massive video site to make itself more accessible to independent researchers trying to study its algorithms.”

CNET: Tonic app wants to show you to the unexplored, nontoxic corners of the internet again

CNET: Tonic app wants to show you to the unexplored, nontoxic corners of the internet again . “Tonic is a new app with a radical approach to recommendations personalized for you: It doesn’t want to know who you are, make money off your interests, or hook you on using its app more and more. Instead, Tonic wants to recommend you five and only five things every day, like an article or photo essay.”

WSJ: Amazon changed search results to boost profits despite internal dissent (Ars Technica)

Ars Technica: WSJ: Amazon changed search results to boost profits despite internal dissent. “The goal was to favor Amazon-made products as well as third-party products that rank high in ‘what the company calls “contribution profit,” considered a better measure of a product’s profitability because it factors in non-fixed expenses such as shipping and advertising, leaving the amount left over to cover Amazon’s fixed costs,’ the WSJ said.”

Neowin: Google is making it easier to search for films and shows to watch

Neowin: Google is making it easier to search for films and shows to watch. “Google has announced that customers in the United States will be able to find shows to watch more easily. Starting today, the search giant will begin rolling out new commands such as ‘good shows to watch’ and ‘what to watch’ on mobile.”