He once sang ‘Here comes the flood’ and he now seems to have taken the message to heart. Former Genesis front man Peter Gabriel is working on a project called The Filter which will help people navigate through the ever-expanding ocean of online information and digital assets.
In a world of a bewildering range of choice, Gabriel argues (in a Reuters video clip) that the curator is as important as the creator. What he seems to be arguing is that sharing our collections, playlists etc. of digital content can help us find new, interesting and relevant content.
The Filter tool joins a growing band of personalisation services that help people make sense of the huge choice of music, video, films and other media that is now available online thanks to the Long Tail. These services track your personal preferences, make sense of your online purchases and keep an eye on the stuff that you browse. In the case of the Filter, the ‘engine’ that drives it is a complex algorithm based on a branch of maths called Bayesian statistics. It works out patterns of interest and makes suggestions for related materials. The real power will come when these mathematical pattern profiles can be shared through social networking websites.
A public launch is promised next month, although I hear news that his server was stolen over the recent bank holiday.