It’s a fairly non-controversial statement that Google is a world leader is coding / amasssing human data sets / modelling what we do and think.
So, I have been doing a sort of half hearted very unscientific but nevertheless very real world and very significant test the past couple of years.
The test itself is very simple, it’s watching YouTube on the PC while another tab in the same browser is logged into google gmail.
Open a tab to https://www.youtube.com/ and there at the top right is my profile pic from the relevant gmail account, and of course participating in the “Recommended” section, watched it before, don’t like it, don’t show me anything else based on me watching xxxx, don’t show me anything from the channel xxxx.
You’d think after two years of this, they’d have it *NAILED* bruh..
Nope. At least a dozen times I’ve clicked do not show me anything from Jeremy Clarkson’s channel, yet there it is, a video about clarkson and may and nissan gt-r launch control, I don’t know how often I’ve clicked I have already seen this video for Japanese tsunami stuff, and there it is, the exact same video from yet another channel / uploader / mishmasher, I don’t know how often I have clicked I do not like this video for some lame ass fail video, and there they are, three fail videos, I don’t know how often I have clicked don’t show me any videos based on the Kenworth / Cat 3408 video I watched because I quite like cold starting diesels, and there they are, four videos on various yank semis from kenworth to peteys.. all with open pipes all on the jake…
There are other options that should be there, but aren’t, such as don’t show me any video that was uploaded more than a year ago, don’t show me any video that is just a bunch of still images and some music, don’t show me any video uploaded from india, but they aren’t.
So in the 24 recommended videos, there is ONE that I might possibly be persuaded to click on if I was bored, hand held tesla coil gun at 28k fps, like the cold start diesels, seen this stuff before, but as long as it is not an actual video I have seen before, good enough.
Google *have* the algorithms and programmers and CPU cycles and money and everything else, but they seem content to do some *very* slack recommendations based on a rolling average of the last dozen or so videos you watched.
Do a youtube search for a video on bending acrylic and watch one and learn all you wanted to know, and suddenly your recommends are full of five year old SD res videos about acrylic, and most of them are naff, and two of them are dupes uploaded by different users.
So they have the technology, that isn’t in doubt, but, they don’t use the technology, that isn’t in doubt either, so somewhere someone is taking a shortcut, why?
For my suppositions on this, I’m going to go back to the 90’s and my days making money out of building internet porn websites for others, back in the day when there was that small gap for custom CGI that allowed the website to query your bank and take a credit card payment for access.
The dirty little trick you learned by the time you were on your third website was this;
If you drew venn diagrams of the content of each website, 95% of it was overlapping, and 100% of it had any one video fitting several categories, anal, creampie, reverse cowgirl, deep throat, so when you searched by category or keyword you’d be forgiven for thinking that a site that had 5,000 clips actually had 50,000, and you probably would never be aware than 500 movies is more than enough to make 5,000 clips, and two guys processing one movie each per day (CPU power was more limited back then etc) between them could add 150 clips a week and by the time those were keyworded and added to the listings you could claim that depending on they keyword you just added 1,500 new “movies” every fucking week, what a draw to keep subscribing.
So basically the dirty little secret was making a limited quantity of content look like 10,000 channels of live TV with no re-runs, which is not a million miles away from what you get when satellite or cable TV promote themselves, for only 50 quid a month sky are doing a deal and included is almost 500 complete box sets, 490 of them are already on amazon prime of course, but that’s neither here nor there.
The other thing I am going to mention is silverjuke, which sits on my NAS box reading my 57,000+ mp3 files, and in the past few years I hardly add anything to that music library, but it is still a vast selection, assume and average of 4 minutes play time per track and you get 57,000 x 4 = 228,000 / 60 = 3800 / 24 =158.3 days of music before anything repeats, you’ll only hear each track twice a year, *if* you are awake and listening to it 24/365, but guests can still come by and use the search function and not just find tracks, but entire artists that are completely absent from my collection.
Now, if you think about this, the whole idea that all these sites are just a front and behind the scenes the content is *far* more limited than you would either credit or believe, makes perfect sense, because it it did *not* then content caching services like akamai and so on would be dead in the water.
I have amazon prime simply because I end up ahead on the deal on postage, as I won’t buy anything that isn’t shipped for free by prime, but I means I also get access to the *vast* prime video library, a library so vast that in the past year “I” (as a user) have watched a total of two films, both for guests, one was a film that I had no interest in, one was a kids film, and two “TV” programmes, episodes 1 and 2 of the grand tour, both of which were shit, episode 3 won’t be getting watched, and yet this “exclusive” and “original” and “new” content was worth months of promo, how come, how can a mere 12 hours of new programming annually deserve such hype, 50 years ago BBC TV alone used to produce 16 hours of new programming per day.
It all reminds me forcibly of the early days of cable, wow, there is a whole sci-fi channel with nothing but sci-fi, woweee, and PDQ you realise that if it isn’t a re-run of some sixties shite that you have already seen so often you can almost quote the few lines of the guys wearing red shirts, it was the most awful thing ever, it was made FOR fucking sy-fy channel, so bad it could not even dream of being straight-to-supermarket-bargain-bin-dvd…
We are told that the gaming industry is fucking vast, even bigger than the movie industry, well for all those fucking billions, you don’t want to know how few hours in the last month I spent playing games (Fallout 4 and Skyrim Remastered is it) or watching movies…. Next movies will be guardians of the galaxy 2, downloaded for free from usenet long before it ever hits these shores in the cinema, watched on the sofa with some chick who will be playing with my balls the entire time.
Despite the technology and predictions, which basically allow almost anyone to do things that a mere 20 years ago only millionaires on a mission could dream of, (see previous post about hipsters and bike mags) we have hit an all time low in human creativity.
Go ahead, call my bluff, go to youtube and do a search for videos on any specific subject you like, say “Honda CBX” or “Myford ML7 lathe” or “Technics SA-200L reciever” or “Austin Ruby”, before you know it you will have exhausted the entire content, and if you are smart and pick a thing that you personally know about (I’ve owned or used or worked on all of the above) you will further realise that all the content that there is, is total fucking bullshit.
I find this all hilariously ironic in the current atmosphere of “fake news” accusations, given that there basically isn’t any investigative journalism anywhere, yet there are all these news channels and websites and so on that require hourly updated content 24/7.