Wednesday, January 2, 2019

Netflix is tripping

I've seen a lot of people complain about Netflix's recommendation system--specifically the "percentage match" that Netflix shows next to titles.  I didn't give it much thought until I saw this:

A 55% match?  There's no way Avengers: Infinity War should be anything less than 99%!

Making things worse, I then saw the percentage match Netflix gave to Bird Box:  

How does Bird Box get a 99% match, while Avengers: Infinity War only gets a 55% match?  Either Netflix messed with the results on purpose, or the guy who designed the algorithm was tripping.

I went to Netflix's "Help" section to make sure that I understood the meaning of the percentage match score.  On the page titled "Netflix Ratings & Recommendations" it says:
We offer thousands of titles to stream -- that’s a lot! When you rate TV shows and movies, you're helping us filter through the thousands of selections to get a better idea of what you'd like to watch. 
To do this, we use a recommendation algorithm that takes certain factors into consideration, such as: 
  • The genres of TV shows and movies available.  
  • Your streaming history, and previous ratings you’ve made.  
  • The combined ratings of all Netflix members who have similar tastes to you. 
We use these factors when we calculate the percent match score shown next to a title. This score is unique to you, and indicates how likely we think you are to like that title.
So...Netflix thought there was only a 55% chance I would like Avengers: Infinity War, even though I've already watched the movie three or four times.  What a weird assumption to make. 

1 comment:

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