Posts Categorized: media

How food apps use algorithms to make recommendations for you

“…algorithms are also responsible for fueling restaurant apps. Restaurant recommendation (or “discovery”) apps — from stalwarts like Foursquare to upstarts like MyFab5 — come up with recommendations based on algorithms’ interpretations of data (yours and theirs). Others, like the just-launched Luka and the six-month-old Flavour, apply algorithms to recommendations curated by professionals and tastemakers. But when biases, context, and emotion are removed from the equation, how effective are the algorithms when it comes to recommending something you’d like — especially when it’s regarding something culturally ingrained and intensely personal like food? And how do you find a balance between the two?” You can see the full article on Eater here. “We have a data team that is constantly trying to solve the problem of finding the newest and greatest places around the world,” Covington says. “You can imagine the scale of this problem — instead of finding out about cool places with an ear to the ground, we are working on doing it with machine learning.”

Save Epicure. Or build something new?

The food and drink business has a love hate relationship with its media. They are either moaning that newspaper sections and magazines don’t write about them. Or when they do they get it wrong. Then there is the thorny issue of critics, the journalists that probably get the most stick for not rating restaurants (or anything subject to critique) quite as highly as the owners would like. When I started my own food magazine Tomato (which became this blog) eight years ago in 2004 I met many restaurant owners who moaned about Epicure, the food section which appears in the Tuesday Age. They felt it didn’t support the industry. What they didn’t get is that most jounalists (and critics) don’t feel they are part of the industry they write about. They are part of the media industry and are there to inform, entertain and keep an industry honest. But now according to a report from Crikey Epicure, which already publishes Sydney produced recipes and stories, is about to change name and publish more Sydney content. Basically, Epicure is going to become a bit like News Ltd’s Taste section, which republishes Matt Preston, various recipes, wine critic Tony Love and a bit more nationally while local critics write reviews. Suddenly the industry loves Epicure and is campaigning on Twitter through use of the hastag #saveepicure. Naturally, The Age denies any changes and is at odds with the Crikey report. What’s more interesting in The Age article is that all it says is that it won’t close and they are committed to local content. But that can still mean a name change and Sydney editors controlling the paper. Then this arrives in my inbox: For those not up to speed, Crikey published a piece on Friday suggesting that Epicure was going to undergo a significant change. Read the article here: Following this, there were many of us who started to push to #saveepicure I received an email from Andrew Holden this morning that did not answer the questions that I put to him and note that others have received the exact same letter. His vague response has not convinced me of anything. I now have it on excellent authority that Fairfax is not telling us the truth. I also understand the following is fact: The name will change. There will be one Editor between Sydney, Melbourne and Canberra, with a deputy… Read more »