Netflix today announced the release of Max, a personal content assistant and guide that the company calls the "child of Siri and HAL 9000." Max is designed to help users choose movies and television shows to view, and he does so using personal tastes.
Max asks a user questions about mood and movie viewing preferences in order to come up with a suggestion. He also uses Netflix's algorithms to predict content that a particular user might enjoy and plays a number of "games" to make selections.
One of the experiences Max offers is called the "ratings game," where you pick a genre to fit your mood and then rate a few titles on the familiar Netflix five star scale.
Sometimes, when Max feels particularly confident, he will offer a fun, personalized suggestion after asking only one simple question. Here Max asks you to pick between two highly specific genres that are personalized and use the very detailed tags we have on all of the shows and movies that are available on Netflix.
Other times, when intoxicated by past success, Max will get a little cocky and offer a suggestion right away, no questions required. The catch…this is a mystery suggestion and you'll just have to press play and trust him.
While Max is currently only available as a beta for PlayStation 3 users, Netflix says that if the experiment turns out to be successful, Max will be available on other devices in the future, "likely the iPad next."