Eye on the Prize

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In late June a coalition of research teams announced that it had qualified for the US $1 million prize that Netflix has offered to whomever improves its movie recommender system by at least 10 percent. ”We haven’t won the million yet, just crossed the necessary threshold, moving the competition into a 30-day ’last call’ period,” says Yehuda Koren of Yahoo Research, a member of the coalition. Koren and two colleagues at his former employer, AT&T Labs Research, won an earlier stage in the competition (see ”The Million Dollar Programming Prize,” IEEE Spectrum, May 2009). Koren says his team would reveal its latest algorithmic tricks ”if and when we win.”

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