"Proprietary Algorithm" Replaces Humans in Limited Edition Guardian Print Run

By Gary Cutlack on at

A special edition of the Guardian in the US will give us a glimpse of a nightmarish future in which "likes" from idiots replace editorial decisions, with a run of 5,000 physical papers being filled entirely with stories a "proprietary algorithm" has decided were the most popular online.

The paper, which the Guardian is calling #Open001, will be a small run monthly special, with some sort of software editor apparently allowed free reign to pick the stories that performed best on social media and generated the most comments for inclusion.

Which seems a slightly odd thing to do, as it's simply hammering home the point that newspapers and print media's main role nowadays is providing a historical digest of things you've already read online.

But it's not really meant for mass consumption yet. The strap of the first edition says #Open001 isĀ "curated for media agencies," with the idea being to distribute it among advertising and marketing firms so they can see what sort of stuff the masses are clicking up. [Venturebeat via Engadget]