Discover how Hint Technology combines AI and human intuition to deliver personalized streaming recommendations tailored to your taste, mood, and situation. Learn the secrets to enhancing your streaming experience.

Personalized Streaming: How to Pick the Perfect Recommendation

For months on end, day and night, we at Hint Technology have taken it upon ourselves to define ‘what makes the perfect recommendation’ once and for all. We could even go as far as to say we are redefining the very framework of giving recommendations. How to think, how to select, present and describe a recommendation is absolutely vital for it to be perceived and accepted as a good recommendation. Our incredibly interesting findings are a testament to one of our many hypotheses, we now know what makes a good or a bad recommendation. What follows is the (very) short version. 

The Incorruptible Middleman

As curators, our sole responsibility is to assist users in making the right decision, without them having to actually make a decision in the first place. Navigating through the overwhelming amount of movies and TV shows available on streaming platforms is not only time consuming, but really, really boring. It’s a universal problem that seems to have been ignored by the majority of streaming providers. The bottom line is that they don’t know enough about you, your mood or situation, to give the perfect recommendation.

Here is where the fun begins. In one corner, you’ve got the streaming platforms, and in the other corner is you. Trying to find something to watch is like entering a boxing ring going 12-rounds against the heavyweight champion of the world. Without any training, you won’t stand a chance. It’s an easy payday for the champion but a painful experience for you. The longer you stay in the ring, the more money the champion is going to make. As the incorruptible middleman, we would tell you that boxing a champion is the wrong decision, because we know you won’t like it. And the same goes for streaming movies. 

We know what you want to watch and therefore give you streaming recommendations tailored not only to your taste, but also to your mood and the situation in which you’ll stream. Honoring your taste, mood and situation will keep you out of that ring, that’s our duty. Sounds scary, maybe. But it’s not. On the surface, it’s pretty mundane. Like talking to a friend about what to watch on that particular day, in that particular situation. However, the conversation doesn’t start with the question “what should I watch tonight, my dear friend?” – it’s a far more complex, in-depth and almost philosophical conversation. 

When you ask a loved one for a recommendation, their subconscious mind kicks in. They connect the dots between different recommendations and what they know about you and your taste. They won’t recommend that badass superhero movie they saw last night because they know you don’t like jacked up dudes in capes saving a supermodel from an alien invasion. Their gut feeling tells them a superhero-action is a bad recommendation. In their mind, they make thousands of decisions every second, filtering out bad recommendations and movies clashing with your taste, mood and situation. They act as the middleman without knowing it. 

This is one of the reasons why regular recommendation engines just aren’t good enough. We’ve come to learn that the very cornerstone of being a “streaming curator” depends not only on valuable data that anyone can obtain, but also an instinct that tells us what makes a good or bad recommendation. In other words, recommending something just won’t cut it if you want users to believe and trust you (looking at you, every-streaming-service-ever).

A couple sitting in a sofa with big smiles on their faces eating popcorn.
This is an accurate portrayal of movie night with your partner after using Hint...just saying.

Gut-feeling Meets AI Technology

I guess this is what an AI isn’t able to figure out on its own, that data and emotions aren't the same thing. And that’s exactly what cinema (or ‘streaming’ nowadays) is: unfiltered emotions. If you’ve ever watched a movie or TV-show and felt empty when the end credits roll you’ve experienced the true wrath of cinematic nature. It makes us feel, leaves us empty and provokes emotions that rarely bubble up to the surface. It’s like a drug. The good kind of course.

I strongly believe only those who’ve experienced these moments can give honest and good recommendations. It’s a human connection to the art form. Therefore, AI on its own can’t handle the task at hand. It doesn’t know enough about you or your unique emotions to understand what you’d like to watch. 

The challenge is to make AI understand how we think when we give recommendations, all those thousand decisions we make every second in our subconscious. Why that movie? Why not this one? Is that a good movie to watch on a Friday night? Has the user seen this movie before? 

To crack the case, we looked inwards and dove into our own subconscious mind, extracting every thought process and decision we took when recommending movies to our early beta testers. We did everything manually, from picking the recommendations to writing the plot description to go with it. In other words, we translated our gut-feeling when giving recommendations into invaluable data used to train our custom-built AI recommendation engine. And it worked! It actually worked. 

With Knowledge Comes Power 

Francis Bacon was on to something when he wrote ‘knowledge is power’ in Meditationes Sacrae (1597). Once again, as curators, our sole responsibility is to assist users in making the right decision, meaning we need to have some sort of knowledge to do our duty. This is the perfect time for you to ask us where our knowledge comes from. We don’t blame you, it’s a reasonable question to ask.

They say you have to dedicate 10.000 hours to something to be good at it, or in other words, 417 days. The team behind Hint have spent numerous hours (we’re talking many, many hours) developing a certain set of skills necessary to comfortably dub ourselves as experts in our respective fields. From data science and AI development, to streaming behavior and spectatorship patterns. But we’re still learning, still hungry for more. Because your taste and mood might change over the course of time, which means we have to change too.

To summarize, Hint is the knowledgeable middleman providing good recommendations to our users based on editorially curated and gut-feeling trained AI technology. We bridge the gap between data and emotion, ensuring that every recommendation resonates with your taste, mood, and situation. Our commitment to understanding you better continues to drive us forward, making your streaming experience seamless and enjoyable. With Hint, you're not just getting a recommendation; you're getting a perfectly tailored viewing suggestion, curated with expertise and intuition.

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