Could music be therapeutic? Some scientists think so, and are crowd-sourcing their research, writes Wired.
The Sync Project is currently analysing more than 10 million playlists on Spotify tagged to a particular health-related word, like “relaxation”, to map the characteristics of the music — tempo, beat salience, timbre — that people are playing. They have also developed a Slack bot that every morning delivers a personalised playlist to more than 400 teams around the world. “It’s personalised to get you in the zone,” Ahtisaari says. “We get ratings and reactions from the users and that classification goes into the feedback loop.” In some cases, Sync is also collecting biometric sensor data, like heart rate, from its users to understand how their physiology correlates to the music. “Ultimately, we will be applying machine learning to curate personalised music therapeutic interventions for a particular health outcome,” Ahtisaari says.
“In twenty years time, we will consider it absurd and primitive that we did not use music and sound as an essential part of our health regime, both for everyday wellness but also to compliment pharmaceutical treatment.”
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