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, of course based on your tastes and taking advantage of the Netflix algorithms that predict what you'd enjoy watching. 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.
If you can't wait to get to your PS3 to see Max in action, here's my colleague Pedro Freitas with a brief demo video.
These are three of the ways Max will offer you a suggestion. More and more U.S. Netflix members will get this experience during the upcoming weeks. If Max performs at the level he promises, we’ll expand his repertoire and make him available on other devices in the future, likely the iPad next. If you're outside the U.S., sorry Max will be available to our U.S. members only for now.
Please welcome Max and let us know if he misbehaves and fails to demonstrate the A-level performance we demand at Netflix.
Todd Yellin is vice president of product innovation at Netflix