Streaming services have changed the way in which we experience content. While recommendation systems previously focused on presenting you with content you might want to purchase for later consumption, modern streaming platforms have to focus instead on recommending content you can, and will want to, enjoy in the moment. Since any piece of content is immediately accessible, the streaming model enables new methods of discovery in the form of personalized radios or recommendation playlists, in which the focus is now more on generating sequences of similar songs that go well together. With now over 700 million songs streamed every month, Anghami is the leading music streaming platform in the MENA region. What this also means, is that the amount of data generated by all those streams proves to be an invaluable training set that we can use to teach machine learning models to better understand user tastes, and improve our music recommendations.
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Researchers have identified an incredibly smart method used by fruit flies to categorise odours – and it's so clever it could be applied to powering recommendation algorithms for the likes of Netflix or Spotify. In the same way that YouTube might want to flag up videos similar to the one you've just watched, fruit flies – like many other animals – need to know which smells are similar, for finding food and avoiding poisonous substances. The team from the University of California San Diego (UCSD) and the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in California has found that fruit flies have an especially clever way of categorising odours which lets them recognise differences with a very fine level of accuracy. "In the natural world, you're not going to encounter exactly the same odour every time; there's going to be some noise and fluctuation," says one of the researchers, Saket Navlakha from Salk. "But if you smell something that you've previously associated with a behaviour, you need to be able to identify that similarity and recall that behaviour."
If you care more about your smart speaker's sound than which digital assistant it employs, the new Google Home Max speaker should be on your holiday short list. After days of pumping an eclectic range of music through Google's $399 speaker -- from AC/DC to the Three Tenors -- it's clear the Google Home Max is in a class by itself when it comes to filling a home or apartment with sounds even an audiophile could appreciate. The downsides: It's big, heavy, cord-powered and not particularly portable. Admittedly, for many people the decision to purchase this or that voice-activated smart speaker has often boiled down to which AI-infused digital assistant you're most comfortable engaging with in your home, most likely Amazon's Alexa or the Google Assistant. But when music is the priority, different features come into play.
Amazon brought multiroom audio support to its Echo speakers a few months ago, but let's face it: unless you're a big fan of Amazon Music Unlimited, it hasn't been very useful for on-demand streaming. As promised, Amazon has added multiroom support for Spotify (oh, and SiriusXM) to let you play the tunes of your choice across more than one Echo at a time, including groups. You won't have to stop listening to an album just because you've moved from the living room to the kitchen. Multi-speaker Spotify streaming is only available in a handful of countries, including the US, UK, Canada, Ireland and Germany. SiriusXM, unsurprisingly, only gets this option in the US.
Maybe, just maybe, Alexa's new alarms can make you actually enjoy getting up in the morning. You can finally instruct Amazon's voice assistant to wake you up in the morning with a song of your choice. Yes, if you have a smartphone, you could do this already. But unlike the iPhone, which limits your selection to your Apple Music library, Alexa can select songs from a number of platforms: Amazon Music, Spotify, Pandora, TuneIn, SiriusXM, and iHeartRadio. Whichever you're loyal to, you're set.
If you make a purchase by clicking one of our links, we may earn a small share of the revenue. However, our picks and opinions are independent from USA TODAY's newsroom and any business incentives. There are gifts that are practical, gifts that are functional, and then there are gifts that are just… wowsers, that's beautiful. If you're looking to impress someone with a show-stopping present, this list of gadgets has been imbued with great design, and they're all really useful to boot. Good news: Beautiful does not always mean budget-breaking (though there are a few splurge-worthy items here too).
For many years, the main goal of the Netflix personalized recommendation system has been to get the right titles in front each of our members at the right time. With a catalog spanning thousands of titles and a diverse member base spanning over a hundred million accounts, recommending the titles that are just right for each member is crucial. But the job of recommendation does not end there. Why should you care about any particular title we recommend? What can we say about a new and unfamiliar title that will pique your interest?
Artificial intelligence (AI), once a topic only explored in science fiction movies, TV shows, and books, is something that has quickly become a part of the world of today. In 1969, management consulting firm McKinsey & Company released an article claiming that computers were not smart enough to make any decisions, but rather the human's intelligence behind the devices was powering them. With modern computers replacing skilled human labor in such fields as medicine, agriculture, and education, it is fascinating to see how incorrect this claim turned out to be. Some may even argue that artificial intelligence is the way of the future. With buzzwords like "artificial intelligence," "machine learning," and "bots" being tossed around, sometimes incorrectly interchangeably, it can be confusing to keep up with what is going on in this booming industry.
Apple on Monday confirmed it has bought Shazam, the music app that can identify a song by hearing just a snippet of it. The acquisition boosts Apple's position in the music world and advances its artificial intelligence efforts. Shazam, launched in 1999, claims that at least 1 billion people have downloaded its app and used it to identify songs at least 30 billion times. Its service was one of the first AI products to be used by a broad audience. As Apple faces other tech giants in this increasingly competitive arena, analysts say Shazam could add significant value not only with its own service but also by making Apple's AI products -- namely Siri -- smarter about music.