Keynote by Michael S. Papish
The Dark Art: Is Music Recommendation Science a Science?
Music preferences are emotional, subjective and full of social and cultural meaning. Practical experience building industrial recommendation applications suggests that user "trust" (a fuzzy concept combining user psychology with UI design and presentation) often overshadows actual results. What if making good music recommendations is actually a Dark Art and not a foundational problem of Information Retrieval Science? By tracing the beginnings of MIR, we present an early attempt at a Philosophy of Recommendation Science which tries to answer:
- Does recommendation science exist only as a practical application?
- Is it possible ground-truth metrics such as those proposed in the ISMIR 2001 Resolution don't actually exist?
- What types of solvable scientific problems should receive academic attention from the MIR community?
- Cee Lo's Teeth: Scariest in the entire history of recorded music?
Michael S. Papish (Product Development Director, Rovi Corporation)
Michael serves as a product development director of Rovi Corporation. He is responsible for leading the Rovi search and recommendations R&D team and helping guide the strategy for recommendation technology in Rovi-powered user experiences. Prior to Rovi, Michael was CEO and co-founder of MediaUnbound, Inc. (the assets of which were acquired by Rovi in March 2010).
From 2000 to 2010, Michael grew MediaUnbound into a profitable entertainment content recommendation technology company which licensed solutions to Global 1000 companies such as Terra Networks, MTVN/Viacom, Ericsson and Motorola. At MediaUnbound, Michael led the sales and marketing divisions and helped coordinate the melding of computer engineering and human music analysis which underlined the company's technology. Michael co-founded MediaUnbound with friends from school while an undergraduate.
Michael has been invited to speak on and moderate numerous industry panels around the world. He has testified in front of the U.S. Copyright Office on issues regarding webcasting and digital music. Michael serves as a Special Adviser to the Taskforce on Recordkeeping in Noncommercial Webcasting and acts in a pro-bono capacity as policy and technology adviser for WHRB, Harvard's undergraduate radio station. He eventually graduated from Harvard University with an A.B. in Astrophysics and Philosophy. At the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, his research focus was on supercomputer simulations of large-scale structure evolution in the universe.