AI in Streaming Services
Innovation & Tech Today|Fall 2021
The shows you ‘choose’ to watch aren’t entirely your decision.
Taylor McLamb

Since the start of the pandemic, many of us have turned to our trusty friend Netflix to dissociate from the troubling current events of the world. Sure, it may be 1 a.m., but one more episode of New Girl to live vicariously through the lives of a group of friends who have the luxury of spending their nights at the local bar maskless is fine. Since Netflix recommended it to me, it’s okay.

After countless hours spent watching your favorite television shows, you might have started to notice how Netlflix’s recommendations are starting to get eerily specific. It’s almost as if the streaming service truly knows you. You’re not going crazy. It’s a fact.

Netflix and other streaming services use artificial intelligence (AI) to create a more personalized experience for the user. AI isn’t the horrific, world-ending robotic villains that Hollywood has portrayed. It’s simply a powerful computer system that simulates human intelligence processes and quickly adapts to new data that it is fed. With Netflix, for example, the AI will take in all of your user data and will be able to give you a recommendation based on that. It may not know you personally, but it definitely knows what shows can make you waste a whole day.

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