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Netflix has a totally silly recommendations hotline you can call today

Mashable

As far as blatant advertisements go, this one is pretty good. On New Year's Day, Netflix invited subscribers from far and wide to kick off 2021 by calling into a recommendations hotline -- supposedly staffed by celebrity operators ready to assist you with your binge. Netflix announced the service (one we've been providing for years, thank you very much) with a musical number posted to Twitter that reimagines "Auld Lang Syne" as a listings anthem. You can reach the hotline at 1-866-NYD-2021 to go through the experience yourself, or comment on this Twitter thread to request a personalized recommendation. If you just want to know what happens when you call, then read on.


This Google TV Chromecast bundle comes with 6 months of Netflix

Mashable

Get a Google Chromecast with Google TV, six months of Netflix, and $60 off your first three months of YouTube TV for only $89.99 as of Dec. 22. If we learned anything from 2020, it's that we all watched *a lot* of TV and movies this year. If you have a loved one who needs a streaming upgrade, this Google Chromecast bundle just might be the perfect gift. Although it might not arrive in time for Christmas depending on your location, Google is also offering free two-day shipping through Dec. 24 with code HOLIDAY2DAY, so your gift IOU won't have to last for too long. With six months of the standard, two-screen Netflix plan (an $83.94 value on its own), this bundle is perfect for new Netflix subscribers and old ones alike, since it can be applied to an existing membership.


The Morning After: Netflix explains how it uses AI to sell shows

Engadget

Without revealing all its secrets, Netflix has laid out how it uses AI to market shows and predict their success. We already knew that Netflix shuffles and redesigns its interface and show tiles, apparently on the fly, to hook more viewers. But it also uses AI to compare new shows to those its country-by-country viewership watched in the past and to tap into metadata and information on non-Netflix shows, too. The explanation is a little (well, very) dry, but the AI goes beyond Netflix's own data to hedge the company's bets, for less risk, more profit. If, for example, a drama is likely to fare well in Spain, Netflix could increase marketing in the region and prep dubs and subtitles earlier than usual.


Netflix explains how it uses AI to sell you on a show

Engadget

If Netflix's decisions on marketing its hundreds of original shows seem highly calculated... that's probably because they were. Netflix has outlined how it uses AI to market shows and predict their success in ways that conventional box office numbers and Nielsen ratings likely couldn't match. Effectively, it comes down to finding connections and determining the likely audience sizes. The method relies on transfer learning, where the the parameters learned from a "source task" improve the performance of a "target task." In this case, the source tasks are simple: what titles are comparable to a Netflix original, and what kind of viewership can the service expect?


How to watch Disney on Google smart displays

USATODAY - Tech Top Stories

Have you heard the good news? Disney is available to stream on Google smart displays, just like many other popular streaming services including Netflix and Hulu. Technically you've always been able to watch Disney on a Google smart display (like the Nest Hub Max) by casting from another device, but that's not quite as smooth as calling out, "Hey Google, play Hamilton on Disney ." With the new update, it's easier than ever to catch up on all of your favorite movies and more when your Disney account is connected to a Google smart display--all you have to do is ask. Here's how to watch Disney using your Google-enabled smart display.


There's Something Super Weird About Netflix Anime

WIRED

For a while, Taiki Sakurai wasn't sure Netflix was serious about anime. When he was interviewing to be the company's chief anime producer back in 2017, Netflix suits insisted he'd get to form superhero teams of anime creators, manage the direction of a couple shows. Even then, Netflix was regarded as a streaming platform, not exactly a studio. Netflix is an American tech company. Anime is a Japanese artform.


Netflix is developing a live-action 'Assassin's Creed' series with Ubisoft

Mashable

Sharpen your hidden blades and pull up your hoods: Ubisoft and Netflix announced that a live-action Assassin's Creed series is officially in development. The TV show does not currently have a title or a showrunner, but Ubisoft Film & Television head Jason Altman and director Danielle Kreinik will executive produce the project. Netflix's @NXOnNetflix Twitter account, which covers the service's science-fiction and fantasy titles, tweeted the news with an animated teaser putting the Netflix symbol in the center of the classic Assassin's "A." Whispers of an Assassin's Creed collaboration between Netflix and Ubisoft have been around since 2016, when Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot announced that the game company was in talks with the streaming service on an unnamed, but potentially Assassin-y project. That announcement came shortly before the live-action Assassin's Creed movie starring Michael Fassbender took a leap of faith and missed the haystack in late 2016, becoming one of the worst reviewed movies of the year (it has 18% on Rotten Tomatoes to this day) and dampening fan faith in Ubisoft's ability to pull off an Assassin story in a non-game format. In 2017, Castlevania producer Adi Shankar confirmed that Ubisoft tapped him to produce an Assassin's Creed anime, but did not confirm at the time if that project was for Netflix specifically.


Microsoft partners Netflix to help you learn data science, AI

#artificialintelligence

Inspired by the new Netflix original titled'Over the Moon', Microsoft has launched three new modules that guide learners through beginning concepts in data science, machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI). The new Explore Space with "Over the Moon" learning path includes three modules: planning a Moon mission using the Python Pandas Library, predicting meteor showers using Python and VC Code and using AI to recognise objects in images using Azure Custom Vision. "Like the hero Fei Fei, use data to plan your own mission to the moon. Ensure your rocket can not only get you there, but also bring you and all your moon rocks safely back to Earth. Analyse and visualize datasets with common data cleansing practices," Microsoft said in a statement on Friday.


Recommendation System Tutorial with Python using Collaborative Filtering

#artificialintelligence

A recommendation system generates a compiled list of items in which a user might be interested, in the reciprocity of their current selection of item(s). It expands users' suggestions without any disturbance or monotony, and it does not recommend items that the user already knows. For instance, the Netflix recommendation system offers recommendations by matching and searching similar users' habits and suggesting movies that share characteristics with films that users have rated highly. In this tutorial, we will dive into building a recommendation system for Netflix. This tutorial's code is available on Github and its full implementation as well on Google Colab.


Is Artificial Intelligence Controlling What You Stream on Netflix, Hulu?

#artificialintelligence

Jesus Diaz wrote the following for Fast Company: "I don't care how efficient the company says the algorithm is -- from my personal experience, it doesn't work. A machine can never fully replace personal taste and exploration based on human interaction." He continued in the op-ed: "We're sick of algorithms telling us where to go, who to listen to, and what to watch. Your machine predicts a 98% chance that I would like to watch Frozen. In fact, I have yet to find an instance of any algorithm surprising me with a smart suggestion."