What is this? Check out the artificial intelligence that roasts your music
First they came for our Spotify playlists . . . and we did nothing. Less than nothing, actually: we found the idea of an artificial intelligence making fun of our musical taste so hilarious, we willfully gave it access to our music players.
What is this artificial intelligence we speak of? Oh, just a project from The Pudding, a self-described “digital publication that explains ideas debated in culture with visual essays”. Absent from that description: “Also, we created an artificial intelligence bot that will eviscerate your musical choices if you give it a chance. Can we have your Spotify login & password?”
Hurt me, please
If you want to give The Pudding’s brand new approach at musical humiliation a whirl, all you have to do is head over to their website (just google “the pudding spotify”) and be ready to surrender your Spotify info upon request.
First, however, you’ll be treated to your introductory interaction with The Pudding’s “How Bad Is Your Spotify?” artificial intelligence. The A.I. will greet you and promise it won’t do anything evil with your Spotify info – it’ll just take a look. The Pudding promotes the page with the line: “Our sophisticated A.I. judges your awful taste in music”, which feels like pre-judging before the fact but whatever.
You can actually ask the artificial intelligence for its bonafides before proceeding with the analysis. The A.I.’s matter-of-fact response is: “I’ve been trained on a corpus of over two million indicators of objectively good music, including Pitchfork reviews, record store recommendations, and subreddits you’ve never heard of.” So you can always blame it on the subreddits, if nothing else.
Open mic at The Pudding
What follows after you finally give The Pudding’s artificial intelligence access to your Spotify account can best be described as finding yourself the target of a really mean stand-up comedian. You know, the kind that doesn’t just move on after a couple of jokes but instead makes you the centerpiece of their act. “What is the deal with this guy’s Counting Crows obsession?” and so on.
How you react to the artificial intelligence’s merciless analysis of your Spotify data will depend on how much your Spotify use reflects, you know, your soul. Unless you share the account with someone, odds are your Spotify usage will in fact provide a window into your inner workings. And The Pudding’s A.I. will obliterate you for it with remarks like “You’ve been listening to a lot of Mumford & Sons lately. U okay?”
(The artificial intelligence will ask you early on if you share the account with other people, by the way . . . but it doesn’t seem like it really cares one way or another. It will still mock every single aspect of your Spotify account.)
Once The Pudding’s artificial intelligence is done with you, it gives proper credit to its “trainers”, Mike Lacher & Matt Daniels, with additional support from Omri Rolan & Kevin Litman-Navarro. As a parting shot, the A.I. has the nerve to advertise The Pudding’s Patreon – basically asking you if you’d like to pay for the privilege of having been ridiculed by an advanced piece of software.
What is the deal with the artificial intelligence’s trainers, anyway? The Pudding’s bios for Mike Lacher & Matt Daniels offer minimal information: Matt Daniels “first experienced internet fame in 2014 and has been chasing that feeling ever since”, while Mike Lacher “does a whole bunch of stuff: funny stuff, serious stuff, videos, stunts, branding, strategy, games, bots and more.”
Yeah, that’s fine. But what are Matt Daniels & Mike Lacher’s Spotify playlists like? And has their artificial intelligence monster taken a look at them? That’s what we want to know.