Eli Pariser has a terrific article published yesterday in Harvard Business Review. In it, he shows that human editors are still needed in order to determine how relevant information is for humans.
I agree with and find completely accurate his article. But I wonder if Eli is talking out of both sides of his mouth. Is it debatable whether the HBR story conflicts with his TED talk (embedded below)?
Some of us are enthralled with the drama of conflict and conspiracy. Me, too, sometimes. But where others wallow in the woe-are-we whirlpool, I like to step out and consider solutions or at least amelioration. I had to defend Google when Eli accused them of unjust censorship. What he and others see as intrusive filtering, I see as an imperfect (but improving!) attempt to determine relevancy of information to an individual's condition.
I say it's imperfect but improving because I've been watching the advertising delivered to me while I'm online with my gmail account and browsing other web pages. I don't know whether the relevancy is improving because the algorithms are better or because I've been expanding my social network and presumably supplying data that's more extensive and useful.
But I can see where information relevancy can be determined in a programmatic way, thereby aiding most editors and curators if not eliminating many of them. Just not yet, as Mr. Pariser has already indicated in his article.