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JohnBarnes
JohnBarnes
9/28/2016 7:53:10 AM
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Platinum
Re: Netflix Learned to Read Your Mind
mpouraryan,

What if the machines want you to think you're in control?

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JohnBarnes
JohnBarnes
9/28/2016 7:51:44 AM
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Interesting
mpouraryan,

Rephrasing that: it will make us happier if we maintain the idea that we are in control, and so far maintaining that idea has been assigned to us, pending software that can do it for us.

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mpouraryan
mpouraryan
9/27/2016 6:53:32 PM
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Platinum
Re: Netflix Learned to Read Your Mind
As long as we remember that we're in control--not the machines.

 

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elizabethv
elizabethv
9/27/2016 6:43:09 PM
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Netflix Learned to Read Your Mind
@JohnBarnes - I like a mixture of things too, but what you say rings very true for me, I know my preferences tend to be cyclical. Right now I'm enjoying my rom-coms and reruns of Grey's Anatomy, but it's only a matter of time before I find myself back in documentaries and reruns of Criminal Minds. I take breaks occasionally and venture into new territory, but without a doubt, I know I'll return to the old faithfuls. I can never resist watching Notting Hill for the 800th time..... 

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dcawrey
dcawrey
9/27/2016 6:06:11 PM
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Netflix Learned to Read Your Mind
I think this is an interesting concept, but I would argue Netflix is a long way off from simply knowing what I want to watch. I often spend more time on Netflix looking for what I want than acutally watching, mostly because I don't want to start watching something I will turn off. 

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Michelle
Michelle
9/27/2016 12:56:27 PM
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Platinum
Queue queue
Netflix does a fair job of suggesting new titles for my household. I don't like the new queue set up. They removed the "continue watching" queue and replaced it with "watch next". The "watch next" queue is just another suggestion list like all the others below it. Suggestions are based on past viewing and ratings just like everything else. I want to resume some shows of my own choosing, not be fed constant suggestions.

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JohnBarnes
JohnBarnes
9/26/2016 8:46:52 PM
User Rank
Platinum
The contradiction at the heart of the issue
A friendly reader who says he's too shy to get into the argument, but who knows me, just emailed me and pointed out that some of my posts seem to say "Oh, no, don't think you can escape, machine intelligence and big data are much more powerful than that," whereas others seem to be saying that popular entertainment will always escape the algorithms. Here's why I'm saying that, Mr. Anonymous-Boy McChickenPants, and darn it, come out and argue your own points -- that's why we have a comment section!

Anyway, there's a confusion that goes back to Enlightenment philosophy in the West where we tend to think that "having freedom" means "being free to choose." So we think that to have our freedom about Grey's Anatomy has to somehow mean we choose to watch or not watch based on our own priorities.  We do choose, of course, based on those priorities -- but those priorities are not only not altogether ours, they are knowable and manipulable.  But that doesn't really mean resistance is futile (despite what I keep saying); it just means the shopper-and-shelf model isn't how things really work (or ever have).

Acting on the choice feels like freedom. But you don't wholly control your choice. But -- and here's the kicker -- neither does anyone else. Your choice just happens, based on your personal history, temperament, who you hang out with, whether someone you like said something mean to you this morning, your digestion .... in the aggregate those influences become stochastic and they can predict pretty safely that by pitching it in a particular way to 135,000 people like you, they'll get 100,000-110,000 viewers. (That's much better than 30 years ago when they had to pitch to two million and didn't know if it would be 5000 or 500,000).  But whether you will ultimately land in the conformist majority or the dissident minority -- that's probablistic, not deterministic.

There's another sense of freedom, after all -- the sense of "free fall", aka weightlessness, the thing that means that although there certainly is gravity in space (that's what keeps your space station in orbit!) that as long as you and everything around you moves in accord with gravity, you don't feel it.  And that's the freedom that big data and machine learning can't take away; all they can do is help you to stay in the orbit.

"Resistance is futile" -- the Borg

"Resistance is part of the game" -- Carse

"Resistance is voltage divided by amperage" -- Ohm

 

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JohnBarnes
JohnBarnes
9/26/2016 8:25:32 PM
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Netflix Learned to Read Your Mind
freehe,

Au contraire, people who like mixtures tend to like predictable mixtures, often with a lag effect (if they've watched a lot of vampire musicals lately, they are more ready for superhero romantic comedies, unless their baseline includes a lot of anime noir, in which case they'll want alt history with zombies ...), and that's well-studied and well-understood. If you like to watch a wide variety of things, simple linear regression and hierarchical clustering models can do a very good job of predicting how much your mixture will vary and what you will do to maintain it.

Resistance is futile.

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JohnBarnes
JohnBarnes
9/26/2016 8:21:48 PM
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Interesting
ElizabethV,

I've already seen machine-intelligence models that can include the pleasures of shopping and delayed choice -- that is, a consumer may simply prefer/like better to make a partial choice and then linger over making a final one for the fun of lingering and considering and sampling.  (That's what food festivals are all about, for example!) They can and do predict what consumers will settle on but what they want to look at first (you see that in some Amazon predictions about "customers looked at this and ultimately bought that").

They're already on to you, and two jumps ahead besides.

Resistance is futile.

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mpouraryan
mpouraryan
9/26/2016 1:18:48 PM
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Netflix Learned to Read Your Mind
The key is to never forget in this transformative era we are witness to--that we have to be in control--and make sure we retain the creative edge always.    It is in the end about us--and no machine can replace that.    

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