The Automatic Critic

Who needs critics anymore? They’re unreliable. The latest web services will do your cultural sorting for you. “These web-based applications seek to recommend music not through descriptive reviews, but through affinities calculated by a computer algorithm. Websites like and endeavour to tell you what you will like by having you tell them what you already like. This form of definition-by-association is supplanting the good old-fashioned review as the primary way for consumers to discover new music, movies and literature. Using a recommender application is like consulting your friends for music or movie advice, except on a grander scale.”