Richard Nash Introduces Small Demons

By Jason Boog Comment

In the video embedded above, you can explore Small Demons, a new site that collects and catalogs thousands of references to music, movies, people and objects mentioned inside of books.

As the database grows, you can compare details from your favorite books, visiting one character’s favorite restaurant or listening to the music playing inside a novel. On the Morning Media Menu today (press play below to listen), Small Demons content and community VP Richard Nash showed how the site uses algorithms to connect hundreds of details inside books.

Follow this link if you want to sign up as a beta user on the site. Nash explained: “If you are an author, we are going to create verified author pages. You’re going to be able to add biographical information, information about your own books and other features. You will also get access to the editing tools that we are using to fix the computer’s mistakes. We know algorithms can’t get everything right and even when they get something right, they can’t necessarily provide the nuance that a human being can.”

Nash concluded: “A computer can tell us how many times a song appears in a book. But it can’t tell us that it is the song that the couple dances to at the wedding reception or the song the jilted lover plays after being dumped. It can’t tell you the emotional resonance of it. So we are going to be relying on librarians and authors and gifted amateurs to come in and help us fix and add and weight and evaluate all the data we are generating. Individual authors will have that ability over an extended period of time.”