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Is Big Data Killing Creativity? | Michael Smith | TEDxHarvardCollege

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Many individuals are wondering why data-driven platforms such as Netflix, Amazon, and Google are becoming so successful at generating creative content. In his talk, Smith explains how the ability of these platforms to promote content to customers with unique preferences has led to creative freedom within the industry. Michael Smith is a professor from Carnegie Mellon University. As Professor of Information Systems and Marketing and the Co-Director of the Initiative for Digital Entertainment Analytics (IDEA) at CMU, Michael Smith’s research uses econometric techniques to analyze firm and consumer behavior in markets for digital information and digital media products. This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community. Learn more at http://ted.com/tedx
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Text Comments (43)
Brian Paulsen (2 months ago)
For the record, big data was very important in the creation of House of Cards. It was not obvious at the time that House of Cards would be as successful as it was, but Netflix analyzed data and determined that a political drama would be popular. So you are using House of Cards as an example of how things such as that wouldn't exist if Netfix used big data, when in reality, House of Cards wouldn't exist without big data. I think he did bring up good points about the importance of using insight when working with big data. People often depend too much on the data, and not enough on insight, but when big data is combined with insight, it is a powerful tool. I know companies often use data in a way that infringes on privacy, but that doesn't mean the use of big data is always bad. Please remember that.
Mehran Muslimi (5 months ago)
Great talk
José Sidenei de Melo (5 months ago)
Big Data is starting to rule all of us. The bad news is that it may become very messy. But Google will fix it, for sure.
Kat McCloud (6 months ago)
How often my mom has said there's "nothing new on netflix" when her recommendations looked absolutely nothing like mine
ruben howe (7 months ago)
Sean Yao (9 months ago)
A master piece!
espn pokerclub (1 year ago)
oops Spacey is dead now😖
espn pokerclub (1 year ago)
oops Spacey is dead now😖
ClarksonsinUSA (1 year ago)
We love House of Cards,realistic TV is what people want!!!!
The argument that more content means less quality is wrong. Movie and TV industry is governed by steep and costly barriers to entry which have absolutely nothing to do with creativity or the lack of it. Today, better technology enables more people to share their stories creatively. However, you have more material to sift through as a consumer of content. There is an embarrassment of riches in stories that has never existed before. Except, in the local taverns that is. Demonizing Netflix is ignoring the fact that people have always actively looked for quality. There are always talented individuals and outfits that will create it. If netflix doesn't provide it another platform will.
TheGt4d (1 year ago)
Short answr: NO.
fingerhorn4 (1 year ago)
Big Data is not killing creativity but it is attempting to kill democracy and corporatising every facet of consumer choice to the lobbyists. See Cambridge Analytica.
Les Parks (1 year ago)
Though the NFL analogy is good for various reasons, College football is also fun to watch and creates access for many more fans.  It hasn't hurt the NCAA.  Still a very good talk.
S L Filho (1 year ago)
But it's indeed pretty manipulative to have a child with cancer in every other series. They know we'll be affected.
S L Filho (1 year ago)
Hindu Goat (1 year ago)
pretty soon, creative tasks will be handled by AI, which will do a far better job far quicker, and capable of far more creativity than the human brain could ever manage... humans are becoming obsolete as we progress
Nicholas Arthur (3 months ago)
Hindu Goat it’s not even that. Companies aren’t willing to take risks. They only go for what is profitable.
Pensamento Orgânico Sergio Spritzer (1 year ago)
Do we would live in auto-isolated islands of preferences?
danielsjohnson (3 months ago)
We do at least on Facebook unless you like and comment on posts from both sides of the political spectrum.
TT VanderMolen (2 years ago)
This guy is really smart, you should give him a pay raise. 🦄🦄🦄🦄🦄🦄🦄🦄🤓🤓🤓🦄🦄🍭🐰🐈🐙🍫🍌🥓🥓🥓🥓🥓🥓🥓🥓🥓🥓🥓🥔🥔🥔🥔🥔🥔
iowusu (1 year ago)
He was my professor so I am smart too! hahaha
merickful (2 years ago)
What's to be said about not watching a show based solely off the first scene....Then basing a Ted talks off of that. Coins have two sides
YcrowsfootY (2 years ago)
Data-informed concept and outlining is not the same as data-generated "creativity." Netflix is successful because people were desperate after 50 or 60 years of the same damned network shows relabelled with slightly different names (and in many instances, the same laugh track, in case you don't know when the funny bits are). Given that context, almost anything would have been a successful alternative. HBO content also provided departure, and had great success. Of course, Netflix has gone from strength to strength in supplying programs that are different from big network offerings, and expanding the variety of that content, while offering preference-driven recommendations. And temporal freedom. _And no ads._ And they did it for a price cheaper than basic cable. Market supremacy on every axis. Of course, the market is changing, new players are entering. It will be interesting to see what the next trend will be.
MrRoadst3r (2 years ago)
Would focusing on certain content create a person who becomes bored / numb to the content? As if making a dish with the same ingredients in a different way would become bland / familiar once you gone through all the combinations.
Fan (5 months ago)
Zan bel (1 year ago)
John Doe (2 years ago)
Nobody would give a crap if Kevin were to shoot a person in the first two minutes, but don't you dare touch that dog. Smh, what's wrong with people?
M.Y Ag (1 year ago)
Yup, the dog is innocent compared to a human. Dogs are a loyal creature that obeys their master.
Kevin Garcia (2 years ago)
many of them spend more of their lives with their pets than with people
John Doe (2 years ago)
+sprocaster I guess that could be an explanation but I still remain baffled.
sprocaster (2 years ago)
John Doe because subconsciously the dog is more helpless/fragile/delicate than a human.
Kera Atkins (2 years ago)
huh never thought of it like this before. Good talk Ted Inc.
(2 years ago)
Yes Big Data Is Killing Clever-tivity (Not "Crea-tivity", only God creates), and it's all by design; http://truthstreammedia.com/the-impact-of-science-on-society-technology-enhances-control/ http://truthstreammedia.com/how-bilderberg-will-use-technology-to-rule-by-2050/
Joshua Pratt (2 years ago)
Not to mention that the arguments that are in the pages you link to are conspiracy theories
Joshua Pratt (2 years ago)
Awakened2Truth - Disciple of Jesus the Christ Not at all. I mean why do you bring God into a discussion about Creativity and Data science. Why do you post links without making a clear argument. I have seen you around and so far I have to chalk you up as a troll.
Joshua Pratt (2 years ago)
Awakened2Truth - Disciple of Jesus the Christ what on earth do you mean?
ChelovegII (2 years ago)
is his friend gay or wat?
Omen Drals Ⓥ (2 years ago)
he was referring to his dog, Monty, shown here: 1:29 :)
young fiji (2 years ago)
I understand the 'message' and fuction with this talk- I even agree with it as I got it. But it's not good represented.. I like it more pedagogical
Cyz Walker (2 years ago)
asap rockys spirit animal
Archibald Belanus (2 years ago)
1:20 not my proudest fap
Modestas Lesik (2 years ago)
Uhh, can't unsee.
young fiji (2 years ago)
Archibald Belanus lol what