Sam Harrelson

YouTube and “Reinforcing” Psychologies

“The new A.I., known as Reinforce, was a kind of long-term addiction machine. It was designed to maximize users’ engagement over time by predicting which recommendations would expand their tastes and get them to watch not just one more video but many more.

Reinforce was a huge success. In a talk at an A.I. conference in February, Minmin Chen, a Google Brain researcher, said it was YouTube’s most successful launch in two years. Sitewide views increased by nearly 1 percent, she said — a gain that, at YouTube’s scale, could amount to millions more hours of daily watch time and millions more dollars in advertising revenue per year. She added that the new algorithm was already starting to alter users’ behavior.

“We can really lead the users toward a different state, versus recommending content that is familiar,” Ms. Chen said.”

via “The Making of a YouTube Radical” by Kevin Roose in the New York Times




Granted these stories are all data driven and…

Granted, these stories are all data-driven and lack literary flair, so human journalists still own deep reporting and analysis—for now. Narrative Sciences predicts that work written by its program will earn a Pulitzer Prize any day now, and that computers will control 90 percent of journalism in roughly 15 years. If you’re dubious about robo-journalism, check out this quiz by the New York Times to see if you can distinguish between human and robot writing.

http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2016/03/20/the-next-picasso-is-a-robot.html