Netflix adds virtual assistant for PlayStation 3 viewers

June 28, 2013
Netflix on Friday introduced a chatty virtual assistant named 'Max' to help people find on-demand films or television shows on the service using PlayStation 3 consoles.

Netflix on Friday introduced a chatty virtual assistant named 'Max' to help people find on-demand films or television shows on the service using PlayStation 3 consoles.

"Max, rumored to be the child of Siri and HAL 9000, asks a few questions about your mood or movie and TV show tastes to arrive at a suggestion," Netflix vice president of product innovation Todd Yellin said in a blog post.

"Of course, (suggestions are) based on your tastes and taking advantage of the Netflix algorithms that predict what you'd enjoy watching."

Siri is what Apple calls the virtual assistant it added to its popular , while HAL is a fictional, self-aware computer made famous in the 1968 film '2001: A Space Odyssey.'

California-based Netflix has an array of applications that let subscribers access the service from major as well as mobile devices.

Max is making its debut on Sony's PS3 consoles in the United States and, if the conversational recommendation service performs as expected, it will spread to more devices with Apple's iPad likely to be next, according to Yellin.

Netflix created a "ratings game" to playfully teach Max what viewers like by picking genres that fit their moods and then rating a few titles in the categories on a five-star scale.

"Sometimes, when Max feels particularly confident, he will offer a fun, personalized suggestion after asking only one simple question," Yellin said.

"Other times, when intoxicated by past success, Max will get a little cocky and offer a suggestion right away, no questions required."

Explore further: Netflix gets kid friendly as it raises US prices

Related Stories

Britain and Ireland tuning into Netflix

August 20, 2012

Netflix on Monday announced that one million people in Britain and Ireland signed up for the film and TV show streaming Internet service in the seven months after its debut there.

Netflix lets US viewers share at Facebook

March 13, 2013

Netflix on Wednesday took the long awaited step of letting US users share with Facebook friends what they have been watching at the film and television show streaming service.

Apple TV adds HBO Go, WatchESPN to line up

June 19, 2013

Apple on Wednesday added HBO GO and WatchESPN to the line-up of programming available on its Apple TV devices that stream shows from the Internet to living room screens.

Recommended for you

Interactive tool lifts veil on the cost of nuclear energy

August 24, 2015

Despite the ever-changing landscape of energy economics, subject to the influence of new technologies and geopolitics, a new tool promises to root discussions about the cost of nuclear energy in hard evidence rather than ...

Smart home heating and cooling

August 28, 2015

Smart temperature-control devices—such as thermostats that learn and adjust to pre-programmed temperatures—are poised to increase comfort and save energy in homes.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.