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Putting the “Me” in “Media”

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Not for the faint of heart – see this picture for a ghastly caution against bioengineering, in this case the unholy breeding of Harry Potter, an owl, and the Joker.

Actually it’s an interesting article about the spread of media personalization:

    Coldplay, my favorite band, is performing on a Saturday Night Live rerun tonight, but I wouldn’t have known about it had I not gotten an e-mail this morning. The message came from something on AOL called MyBestBets, which is powered by a startup called ChoiceStream. Its technology could signal the future of how we find, pick, and learn about what entertains us.

    ….Instead of collaborative filtering, ChoiceStream uses more complex approaches to statistical analysis called Bayesian- and discrete-choice modeling. When applied to movies, the technology factors in a variety of data, including professional and user reviews, along with keywords like foreign, Hollywood, romantic, etc., and actors’ names. With this knowledge about the content, ChoiceStream can infer quite a bit about your likes and dislikes when you merely pick or pan one film. It also examines the preference patterns of others who have said they like or dislike this movie. And it works. Says ChoiceStream CEO Steve Johnson: “People don’t have a lot of patience for crummy results that don’t seem tailored to them.”

    ….You can also bet that this or similar technology will appear in services all over: on the Internet at MSN or Yahoo, on TV set-top boxes, in the TiVo service, and in some of the many online music-purchasing services on the horizon. “Personalization is the only effective solution to the information-overload problem,” says Pattie Maes, an MIT professor and personalization pioneer who sits on ChoiceStream’s advisory board. Such technology will be most useful when it’s tied automatically to storage connected to our computers and TVs. Then we can come home every day to preselected entertainment we actually like.[Fortune]

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