This Week Today: How Spotify algorithms pick just the right song & more

By Marc Hummel

September 11, 2015

Welcome to another edition of This Week Today, our roundup of the best retail + tech links from the last seven days.

Here's This Week Today vol. #ten for Friday 9.11.2015.

Bored on phone  1. Your smartphone can tell when you're bored

[MIT Technology Review]

"While using machine learning to infer your state of mind is tricky, doing so reliably via your smartphone could be powerful. For instance, if an app were able to predict that you’re bored, and also knew where you were, it could try to feed you content it thinks you’d like in that particular context. Already at least one startup is trying to do something similar to this [...]"

TV shopping2. You can now shop through Apple TV [Fortune]

"Apple is reimagining the QVC or Home Shopping Network experience of buying straight from a TV, but eliminating the need to call into the network and relay credit card information or using a computer or tablet. The broader strategy for Apple is to make Apple TV for more than just watching a movie."

Bands

3. Spotify is getting unbelievably good at picking music—here’s how [TechInsider]

"'It really kills me when I see people say that Spotify is just algorithms,' [Doug Ford, Spotify’s director of music programming] says. 'Well, what does that make us? We’re running a team of curation experts.'"

Working on iPad4. How startups are using tech to try and fight workplace bias [NPR]

"[Pete Sinclair, chief of operations at the cybersecurity firm RedSeal], figured the company was either turning off or turning down these minorities, so he turned to another software startup called Unitive, which helps companies develop job postings that attract a range of candidates, and helps structure job interviews to focus on specific qualifications and mitigate the effect of the interviews' biases."

Not Google5. Why you hate the new Google logo [The New Yorker]

"There was a time when I clicked on Google’s sponsored links, above the search results, so I could help give money to Google. This is still my instinct, and I have to remind myself not to. Sometime around 2002, my friend Alice dressed as the Google logo for Halloween, complete with a button that said 'I’m feeling lucky.' (She claims not to remember this, but I’m confident that if Gmail had existed then, I could prove it.)"

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Marc Hummel is a former Content Marketing Associate for Monetate. He's also a part-time grad student at the University of Pennsylvania. He enjoys biking to work, reading, listening to podcasts/music, and eating ice cream. Usually not all at once. For more about Marc, go here.

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