Is the secret to a good algorithm human input?

Tim Wu in The New Yorker, posits that Netflix's secret algorithm is a human:

Perhaps what we are seeing here is better explained by the rise of a different kind of talent. It is a form of curation ... whose aim is guessing not simply what will attract viewers but what will attract fans—people who will get excited enough to spread the word. Data may help, but what may matter more is a sense of what appeals to the hearts of obsessive people, and who can deliver that. And what that suggests is that competition will remain possible for companies that aren’t Amazon or Netflix, without massive piles of data on hand. It might be enough to know just which cults to bet on.

Antonio Ortiz

Antonio Ortiz has always been an autodidact with an eclectic array of interests. Fascinated with technology, advertising and culture he has forged a career that combines them all. In 1991 Antonio developed one of the very first websites to market the arts. It was text based, only available to computer scientists, and increased attendance to the Rutgers Arts Center where he had truly begun his professional career. Since then Antonio has been an early adopter and innovator merging technology and marketing with his passion for art, culture and entertainment. For a more in-depth look at those passions, visit

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