Netflix launches virtual assistant to help with recommendations

By on June 30, 2013, 9:30 AM

Netflix on Friday launched a virtual assistant tasked with helping customers find new movies or television shows to watch. Dubbed “Max,” the service claims to be able to find something you’ll love in 120 seconds-ish by asking a series of questions about your mood or movies and TV shows you like combined with algorithms already in use by the streaming media provider.

A blog post on the subject playfully mentions that Max is rumored to be the child of Siri and HAL 9000. All joking aside, Max appears to be a versatile recommendation system as there is even an experience called the “ratings game” where users pick a genre that fits their mood then rate a few titles on the familiar Netflix five star scale.

Max isn’t just a one-trick pony. Sometimes the software will feel especially confident and offer up a suggestion only after asking one simple question. Other times, the assistant will present a choice with no questions asked. The catch, however, is that it’ll be a mystery suggestion and you’ll have to press play to see what has been selected for you.

It’s worth pointing out that Max is currently only available on the PlayStation 3. That makes sense in a way based on the fact that Sony’s current generation console is the most popular Netflix streaming device although we are told that if the service does well, it will be expanded to other popular streamers like the iPad.

The service will roll out over the next few weeks in the US. You can find Max on the third or fourth row of the main Netflix screen on the PlayStation 3, Netflix says.




User Comments: 3

Got something to say? Post a comment
Guest said:

7.000.000.000 peoples never used Netflix ever, but this is the 1000th article what I read from Netflix in the last 10 years.

Congratulation to everybody and im very happy.

TekGun TekGun said:

Yea TS shame on you for reporting on one of the most popular streaming providers technology updates, some people have never used such a service.[/sarc]

jobeard jobeard, TS Ambassador, said:

Excuse me. My wife and I use it almost every night.

I would assert that anyone with a positive I.Q. would never use FB or TW but then there's evidence to the contrary.

It's all about choice

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