Welcome to the home of Noah Brier. I'm the co-founder of Variance and general internet tinkerer. Most of my writing these days is happening over at Why is this interesting?, a daily email full of interesting stuff. This site has been around since 2004. Feel free to get in touch. Good places to get started are my Framework of the Day posts or my favorite books and podcasts. Get in touch.

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Computers + Humans = Better News

This news is a couple days old now, but TechMeme announced that they are adding a human editor. As they explained, “Any competent developer who tries to automate the selection of news headlines will inevitably discover that this approach always comes up a bit short. Automation does indeed bring a lot to the table — humans can’t possibly discover and organize news as fast as computers can. But too often the lack of real intelligence leads to really unintelligent results.”

It’ll be interesting to watch how these sites evolve over the next year or two. More and more of what’s going on around the web at the moment seems to be about combining the intelligence of humans with the power of algorithms for a better result that either could get at alone.

(As a side note, there’s also a really interesting point about news bias in the post: “I’d like to note here that Techmeme isn’t fair because life isn’t fair, and Techmeme will always be biased because humans have built Techmeme. And because news judgement, by definition, is bias.”)

December 8, 2008