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The Computer as Oracle

When given strong data to work with, computers can do a good job of beating humans in predicting what the masses will embrace. BusinessWeek has an interesting recap of successful machine-made future-gazing: from computer Deep Blue’s 1997 defeat of human chess champion Garry Kasparov to a Spanish company that uses algorithms to advise bands on which single to debut their album with (successes include Norah Jones and Maroon 5). The gist: because computers are more objective than humans, they make decisions based on quality rather than hype. [%comments]