No, Netflix, I don't want to keep watching that series

How long have you stopped paying attention to Netflix’s “Keep Watching” section? Unless when you access the service you always go to fixed range, something that on the other hand would be the most logical if you follow our news guides, or that you inform yourself well before starting the reproduction of any title to guarantee that you will like it , most likely, over time, series and movies of which you saw 10 or 15 minutes have been added to that list, only to decide that you weren’t really interested at all.

This is not a criticism of Netflix, of course, in reality they do not have a system that allows them to reliably determine if the interruption in the reproduction of a content is due to the fact that we did not like it Or, on the contrary, simply because at that moment we cannot continue seeing that content on demand. I can think of some behavior patterns without thinking too much about it, but as I think about them, I can think of exceptions that make it difficult to clearly identify that behavior pattern.

So, Netflix could pay a huge sum of money to develop an artificial intelligence algorithm that, based on the analysis of the behavior of each user, detect the patterns applicable to each of those exceptions, in order to try to find out if he has only seen 10 minutes of a movie because he did not like it, or because he was doing time until that his partner arrived, with which to resume the series that they have been following for some time. Or if you have watched 10 minutes of various series because you are preselecting content that you will see later.

A difficult problem for the Reed Hastings company, how could Netflix know if the algorithm works? Maybe they could perform first tests with an AI algorithm and train it with feedback from a small part of its users, no? And, as many online services tend to do with their new functions, roll it out little by little until it reaches other users. Obviously, of course, including a feedback function or, perhaps, a place where you can find the content that Netflix has removed from the list, in case you made a mistake.

It is true that advances in artificial intelligence surprise us every day. Today, for personal reasons, I have been testing some services in which you select four parameters and they compose a song that fits what you were looking for, so it is not unreasonable to think that, when he knows us enough, Netflix can know if a content, which we have pecked for ten minutes, we like or not. It is hard but not impossible.

And I wouldn’t miss anything that this dilemma has been crossed on some occasion by the heads of managers and engineers of NetflixAnd they have even thought of various ways to find out if that series interests you or not. And although I don’t know if this has happened or not, I like to think that one day one of those managers or engineers came home, said something about it to his family while they were having dinner, and his adorable 9-year-old daughter, the ineffable little Tiffany. Madison shot a terse “And why don’t you ask them?”

The consequence of that dinner is that, as Slash Gear tells us today, Netflix has begun to deploy a new feature that allows users to manually remove content from the “Keep Watching” list. At the moment it is only available in mobile applications and its deployment is being carried out progressively, so it has not yet reached all users of the service and there is no deadline (unless it is public) for this to happen.

I’m sorry, artificial intelligence, this battle you have lost. And, in addition, this new Netflix function serves as a fantastic reminder for many services that are trying to constantly find out what their users want, to offer it with great diligence. If you want to know something, and in circumstances like this, sometimes the simplest is the most effective: ask the user.

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