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Monday, March 16 • 12:30pm - 1:30pm
No Accounting for Taste: Maturing Personalization

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ATTENTION: This session requires advance signup to attend. For Online Schedule: Please utilize the RSVP link below the description to reserve your seat. For SXSW GO App: Use the RSVP 'Find a Timeslot' link. You must have a SXSW Interactive, Gold, or Platinum badge to attend, and, you must have an activated SXsocial account (social.sxsw.com) to reserve a seat. If you have any issues with signing up, please email support@sxsw.com. VERY IMPORTANT: Because of the limited space, we recommend you arrive at least 15 minutes prior to the published start time of this session. If you have not checked in at the room you RSVPed for at least five minutes prior to the session start time, you may lose your seat to an attendee in the waiting list line.
Personalization promises to deliver what we need, when we need it. But in a system where new recommendations are based on past behavior, we run the danger of crowding out one of our most beautiful human experiences: serendipity. Serendipity describes the “happy accident;” the unexpected discovery of something that surprises and delights us. Algorithm-based services leave little room for this. Whether we’re talking about Netflix, Spotify or Amazon, our experience is optimized based on past behavior. Take Netflix. You can have algorithms based on character descriptions or actors but there’s no algorithm for evolution. Our aesthetic needs change over time. Just because you liked American Pie at age 16 doesn’t mean you want to see recommendations for American Nursing Home when you’re 50. Yet recommendations continue to emulate our past likes, rather than how we change and grow.
In this talk, I will discuss how the growing trend toward personalization affects our capacity for serendipity.

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avatar for Yashoda Sampath

Yashoda Sampath

Research Lead, Huge
In her present life, Yashoda Sampath performs user experience research for Huge, Inc, making sure that the voice of the user is represented at all stages of the design process. Apart from managing user experience projects, Yashoda has also conducted traditional market research with... Read More →

Monday March 16, 2015 12:30pm - 1:30pm
JW Marriott Room 211-212 110 E 2nd St

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