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Movies Television United Kingdom Entertainment Idle

Netflix Is Looking To Pay Someone To Watch Netflix All Day 86

Posted by samzenpus
from the how-do-you-hire-that-which-has-no-life dept.
An anonymous reader writes with news about a dream job for binge-watching couch potatoes in the UK. Ploughing through your new favourite series on Netflix is something you probably enjoy doing after a working day, but what if it was your working day? You see, Netflix has a fancy recommendation engine that suggests movies and shows you might like based on your prior viewing habits. To do that successfully, it needs information from a special group of humans that goes beyond the basics like genre and user rating. "Taggers," as they're known, analyse Netflix content and feed the recommendation engine with more specific descriptors if, for example, a film is set in space or a cult classic. In short, these people get paid to watch TV all day, and Netflix is currently hiring a new tagger in the UK.
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Netflix Is Looking To Pay Someone To Watch Netflix All Day

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 07, 2014 @11:26AM (#47399891)

    Because they want shills to recommend shows nobody else wants to see so they'll get kickbacks from the clueless publishers.

  • by uigin (985341) on Monday July 07, 2014 @11:31AM (#47399927) Homepage

    Given how poor the Netflix rating engine is surely their money'd be better spent hiring a programmer? I mean, how about not suggesting to me the movie I've just watched? (Low hanging fruit?)

  • by Wycliffe (116160) on Monday July 07, 2014 @11:38AM (#47399965) Homepage

    There is very little reason that you would need to watch an entire movie to tag it properly.
    If nothing else you would probably be watching the movie in fast-forward.
    The movie itself does a pretty good job of doing a summary. Amazon turk or the netflix
    feedback would be a decent way to get short feedback from people who have actually seen
    the movie. My guess is that this position is more of a "scan the movie really quick" type job
    and/or taking user generated data and creating proper tags from it. You are not going to
    get to watch movies for 8 hours a day and only report on those 4-6 movies.

  • by Anubis IV (1279820) on Monday July 07, 2014 @11:53AM (#47400091)

    You do realize that IMDb is a type of wiki, right? The tags are user-submitted. They're good for some stuff [xkcd.com], but probably not so useful for the sorts of things Netflix likely needs them for. Besides which, IMDb is owned by Amazon, so there's likely all sorts of legal issues in using its data for their service.

  • by K. S. Kyosuke (729550) on Monday July 07, 2014 @11:57AM (#47400133)
    I've heard about this thing called metamoderation. Rumor has it that it is already being used on some sites to weed out garbage user inputs...
  • by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Monday July 07, 2014 @12:12PM (#47400241) Journal

    Why not just let the users do the job? Cheaper, faster and easier...

    Generally, when somebody is paying for what it sounds like they could get for free, or even get paid for, there is good reason to suspect that the job description is either underplaying the exact level of difficulty and/or boredom involved, or that somebody has already learned the hard way that what they can get for free isn't exactly what they want.

    In this case, I'd be inclined to suspect that the job is closer to being a 'machine vision' substitute for stuff that machines can't yet see or which it wouldn't be cost-effective to have an expensive analyst cobble together a ruleset and then cheap labor check for mistakes when you could just have cheap labor classify it (eg. 'movies set in space' is probably something that you could achieve reasonable accuracy on, if you do some futzing with detecting starfields and common flavors of "rocket thruster jet of flame"; but you'd have your false positives and false negatives from things in space that happen mostly inside spacecraft, and things not in space that happen to involve looking at the sky more than usual, and so on).

    It's probably a hell of a grind, actually, given that (unlike, say, being a film critic or some film-studies culture critic type) Netflix is going to want everything ground through and tagged on a variety of parameters, not just the stuff you happen to be a geek about, or the stuff that's worth watching, or what have you. It wouldn't much surprise me if, for efficiency's sake, they have you monitoring more than one stream at a time, or working in faster-than-real time, or a combination. You can probably extract the data they want rather faster than you can enjoy the program, even if it is one you like.

  • by gauauu (649169) on Monday July 07, 2014 @02:38PM (#47401715)

    Why not just let the users do the job? Cheaper, faster and easier...

    I recently read an article (I wish I could find it again) that describes how and why Netflix does this. Basically, they train their viewers to watch for many certain qualities and attributes of movies, which are then tagged and categorized to set up their recommendation and category systems.

    For example, they might use a few movies as a baseline for a ratings system so their viewer/ranker staff are on the same page ("on a scale of 1-10, how sweet and sappy is this movie? Does it have a strong female lead? Does it feature cute animals?"), then the viewers watch the film and fill out extensive and standardized tagging information about it, which they build their ratings from.

    The article describes it in much better detail, but it's clear that the level of standardization and depth in their tagging and categorizing is beyond what you'd be able to get from the general public.

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