Hello, brave new world!

By Cherie Hu

8:02 a.m., July 12, 2019

Dear me (hopefully),

I don't even know if you'll be able to see this note, but I'll write it anyway, because I really need your help.

I'm trying to finish an assignment for NPR Music about the impact that technological advances will have on music streaming and listening in 20 years. The notion that we can be in full control of the music we consume on a biological and psychological level — like an always-on, always-adaptive mood playlist — seems radical at best, and detrimental to culture at worst. I'm hoping to unpack all the impending implications in written form before it's too late.

I've already talked with a handful of entrepreneurs, researchers and futurists to get a better sense of where we are currently (e.g., whether Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon Music and other incumbents are investing in biometric recommendation technology), and what kinds of questions we should be asking to inform future product and research decisions. But now I'm left with a dozen pages of interview transcripts filled with speculative, scientific jargon, and trying to go through and make sense of it all has, frankly, become quite time-consuming.

I have a lot of other work I need to get to in the coming weeks, so was hoping you'd be able to lend me a helping hand. If I can't make sense of the future when stuck in the present, why not get the answers straight from the source?

Related Content