The Shotgun Approach to Recommendations

Netflix recommendation

I went to Netflix just now to rate a movie I watched. On the front page, the image at right greeted me.

You may or may not know, but Netflix is offering a $1 million prize for a 10% improvement in its recommendation algorithm. I honestly don’t know if the recommendation at right is what they’re trying to improve but if it is then 10% better shouldn’t be too difficult.

I mean, because I liked a documentary about capital punishment, a 80s puppet children’s show, and my children liked an insipid phonics teaching program they think that I’d really dig a pseudo-martial arts exercise video. Sorry, but WTF?!

They just completed a big ol’ upgrade but I think they missed a spot. Yeah, over there. See that recommendation engine-sized dark spot over there. There you go, you’ve found it.

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