In designing and coding RopeofSilicon I have had several friends tell me I should set up some kind of recommendation system, but I have never done it because it would be such a massive project. For those friends that thought I was talking out of my ass I direct you to an article at CNN that says that even NetFlix can’t get it right, and this I know being a NetFlix member.
Okay, it isn’t that NetFlix can’t get it right, it is just that they want it to be better… 10% better that is, and to the coder that can do it they are offering a grand prize of $1 million!
Yeah, apparently more than 27,000 contestants from more than 160 countries have entered the coding contest so far to no avail, but to keep folks motivated NetFlix is handing out at least $50,000 annually to whoever has come closest to the 10 percent improvement. The first progress prize is set to be given out next week to three researchers at an AT&T Inc. laboratory in Florham Park, New Jersey.
If you have ever wondered how long it takes to figure code out, I can tell you it isn’t that easy, especially as I have grown RopeofSilicon.com. Apparently the three fellas that are being rewarded spent more than 2,000 combined hours poring through data to develop a method that improved upon Netflix’s movie recommendations by about 8.5 percent.
One of the three, Yehuda Koren, told CNN that he isn’t sure the 10% goal is reachable. “Getting the first 5 percent (of improvement) is a lot easier than the last 5 percent,” he said.
Interesting enough, while the AT&T fellas aren’t going to continue working on the project, next week they are going to release their finding. Perhaps I can learn a thing or two.