Acquired TasteIn the age of algorithms, can our taste ever be truly our own?

Acquired TasteIn the age of algorithms, can our taste ever be truly our own?

“Who runs the world?” Since 2011, millions of Beyoncé fans the world over have been ready with the answer: “Girls.” The song has over 400 million views on YouTube and the album on which it appears has had more than a billion streams on Spotify.

This tells you something about who, or what, really runs the world: algorithms. It’s at least in part down to these bite-size chunks of mathematics that culture now spreads so quickly and widely. They’re the reason so many of us around the world have been exposed to the same material—in this case, the gospel according to Queen Bey.

In his influential essay Style Is an Algorithm, Kyle Chayka loosely defines algorithms as “sets of equations that work through machine learning to customize the delivery of content to individuals, p...

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