Updated: Apr 2, 2019
People have been habituated in watching the TV shows in the conventional manner. Episode one, followed by episode two and then episode three and it goes on. But that style is now outdated. The streaming service Netflix is now experimenting with the order of episodes of their latest web series Love, Death & Robots also known as Love, Death + Robots. Netflix confirmed that the episode order that one might see, would be totally different from what is offered to the other.
The streaming service has confirmed this experiment in a tweet, saying that, they have never had a show like love, death & robots before, so they are trying out something that is altogether a new approach. In a statement made by a Netflix user who claimed that the order of episodes is based on the understanding of Netflix about our sexual orientation. Netflix denied such claims and said that, the version of episodes shown to the people has nothing to do with gender, ethnicity or sexual identity, that info is unknown to them from the first place.
Love, Death & Robots is a collection of animated short stories across genres such as horror, fantasy, science fiction and comedy.
It is of no surprise at all that Netflix is again contracting its artificial intelligence (AI) to offer users the sort of personalization and content customization that is possibly based on the viewing habits of the users. It was back in April 2016 when Netflix had meticulously started the extensive A/B testing, which basically experimented with showing different versions of the same content to different users. This customization, based on Netflix’s understanding of people’s viewing habits, alters the order of the shows on the Netflix platform once they log in, the recommendations for what to watch and also the artwork that people might see with each movie or show. In fact, Netflix says that customization of the artwork that accompanies TV shows and movies actually results in up to 30 percent more viewing for that title.
All this definitely came with its share of controversy though, as it was suspected that the previews and artworks were mapping the users by race, and highlighted certain characters from the show based on that. Netflix denied it altogether, saying that these thumbnails were generated by AI algorithms, and never considered a user’s location or race.
This could be just the beginning of the further experimentations with episode ordering, as Netflix tries even more exceptional ways to show off its technological expertise. TV viewing is going to be a lot more fun in the coming days.