How Netflix Uses AI

How Netflix uses AI

Netflix is probably the first name that comes to mind whenever we think of streaming media. Of course, the journey hasn't been smooth as a sail over the years.

The recent advancement in internet speeds and ever reducing computing costs and power of processors has to lead to an uprise in the streaming industry.

With the rise of companies like Netflix,  more and more people are cutting the cords from their TV providers.

Personalized content came naturally with the number of increase in people who enjoyed streaming content. Netflix, in their DVD rental business, had already identified the trend and had been working towards the same since the mid-2000' by offering some cash incentive to some people.

It then started to offer content based on an individual's preference like his/her habits,  choice of genre, browsing patterns and many more.

How AI Fits In?

Artificial Intelligence is Netflix's best friend, one can say. What the company was doing for years has been overly simplified with the introduction of AI.

Since it has a vast customer base with subscribers geographically located in almost every part of the world where internet access is on the rise, it can now efficiently study every user's choice and improve its recommendation system based on even more factors.

AI does not only help in improving Netflix's recommendation system but also helps it learn what the user might want to see next, change in behavior and improve the UI.

The main engine which drives Netflix is its personalized content offering and the subscriber choice. It carefully analyzes the shows or movies you are interested in and also shows content enjoyed according to the user's age group.

Netflix also creates content which is driven by the customer's choice. Like, if a horror show is loved by many users worldwide, it prefers to create something similar.

Since over-personalization might freak out some users, the company tends to sprinkle in something unrelated once in a while. For example, if a customer like romantic movies, the company will show up a comedy movie alongside the current recommendations.

According to Jaffe, who is Netflix's vice president, “We work on constantly making that experience better and better. It’s a unique approach. In some companies [that are] evolving the product, the product team might be the driver: The team comes up with the idea, design, builds, launches, and sees what happens. My team can’t make that decision. We come up with the ideas, but what drives product decisions is our customers and what customers do and how they use the product.”

The company claims that it can save almost $1 billion by using AI.

Although AI is here to help us, there is an ever-increasing concern regarding data collection and privacy. Netflix is, however, going to use AI to deliver personalized content regardless.

PC: Pablo, Unsplash

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Anurag Chawake Opinions expressed by techsutram contributors are their own. More details

I am an Engineering Student with a keen interest in Blockchain, Cloud Computing, AI, ML and related startups. I am currently working with Techsutram as a Writer/Intern.

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