Monday, October 23, 2006

1 Million Dollars!

Netflix, the world's largest online movie rental service, announced the creation of the Netflix Prize. The challenge: create a software that will achieve certain accuracy goals in movie recommendations based on personal preferences. The goal is a 10 percent improvement. The prize.....1 MILLION DOLLARS (dr. evil pinky to the mouth). The company made 100 million anonymous movie ratings ranging from one to five stars, available to the contestents. This was the largest amount of data ever released of this kind.

Currently the Netflix system looks at movies that customers have purchased in the past to predict movies that they are likely to enjoy in the future. Netflix Chairman and CEO Reed Hastings said that such recommendation systems would play “an increasingly significant commercial role in the future” as the company expands. Hastings told the New York Times, “The beauty of the Netflix prize is you can be a mathematician in Romania or a statistician in Taiwan, and you could be the winner."

Netflix said it will publish a detailed description of the winning approach for the benefit of companies, entrepreneurs and academicians. If no one wins the grand prize, the company said it will award a $50,000 prize to whoever makes the most significant headway towards the goal and will award a progress prize annually until someone wins the grand prize.

Complete details for registering and competing for the Netflix Prize are available at .

  • Reuters

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