Forget Algorithms. People Rule!

By Mike Elgan Print this article Print
Algorithms vs.human curators

Silicon Valley has realized that nothing beats the human touch. The industry is tired of waiting—or can't afford to wait—for algorithms to exceed human curation.

The original idea behind social networks was that the "content" was created by you, the user, and by your family and friends, who share and comment on your posts. Later, companies such as Facebook started driving home the idea of algorithmic filtering or sorting of your social streams.

But recently, some of these major Silicon Valley social sites have started adding human curation to the news. Twitter, for example, is reportedly working on the mother of all human-curated social streams with a new feature that's internally code-named "Project Lightning." This involves a team of editors and content creators assembling in real-time the best Twitter content around every major event and conversation.

Snapchat, of course, went completely off the normal messaging rails by introducing a feature called Snapchat’s Live Stories, which are, for the most part, human-curated event montages. Live Stories has become a signature feature that sets it apart from other services.

The trend of using human curators for everything is sudden and ubiquitous. And it's happening for a very good reason: Some of the best minds and most competitive companies in Silicon Valley have realized that no software or technology can create, choose, categorize, augment and filter content for people better than people can.

Humans have taste, judgment, intuition and other qualities that machines will never have. People rule, and will continue to do so for quite some time. If Silicon Valley has given up on waiting for the machines to curate content and information, so should you.

So, forget algorithms and bring back people!

This article was originally published on 2015-07-02

Mike Elgan, a Baseline contributor, is a Silicon Valley-based columnist, writer, speaker and blogger. http://elgan.com/

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