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Why The YouTube Algorithm Will Always Be A Mystery
Why The YouTube Algorithm Will Always Be A Mystery
Why The YouTube Algorithm Will Always Be A Mystery

Why The YouTube Algorithm Will Always Be A Mystery - Tom Scott

Tom Scott
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Hi, I'm Tom Scott. These are some of the things I've made and done. They'll probably come back to haunt me in a few years' time. (Want to get in touch about anything? Use the "contact me" link below, not YouTube messages!)

Video description
The mysterious YouTube algorithm. It's confused people for years, and will continue to do so. So why isn't YouTube more transparent? It used to be that they wouldn't tell anyone how it works - but now, it's that they can't. Let's talk about deep learning algorithms, neural networks, and search engine optimisation.

CREDITS:

Thanks to animator Matt Ley for the wonderful cartoon of me: https://www.youtube.com/user/Thelaserbearguy

I put this together in three days, plus a day of checking and proofing, in Adobe After Effects. It took about eight hours to render, but that's because every frame has keying, lighting, camera, and motion blur effects, and because the original footage of me was in 4.6k lossless.

Yes, the sound of the black box working is the sound of a microwave (it's the one in my kitchen). Also, those aren't faked desktop screenshots, I had to install a copy of Windows ME to make this.

SOURCES:

"Deep Neural Networks for YouTube Recommendations", https://www.youtube.com/user/Thelaserbearguy [PDF] — some people are saying this link 404s, but it works for me? Search for the title and you'll find it.

There's a good layperson summary of the paper here: https://www.youtube.com/user/Thelaserbearguy

The Defamation Act is published under the Open Government License 3.0: https://www.youtube.com/user/Thelaserbearguy and is available at https://www.youtube.com/user/Thelaserbearguy

The music in the cartoon section is called 'Ukulele Beach', and it's in the YouTube audio library.

REFERENCES:

There are a lot of references and in-jokes in here, and hopefully people will spot most of them in the comments. But if anyone wants confirmation: yes, there are references to Billy Joel, Aqua, a He-Man remix, and Elton John. The last one's pretty obscure, well done to you at home if you got that.

VFX breakdown and references explained: https://www.youtube.com/user/Thelaserbearguy

ABOUT ME:

I'm at https://www.youtube.com/user/Thelaserbearguy
on Twitter at https://www.youtube.com/user/Thelaserbearguy
on Facebook at https://www.youtube.com/user/Thelaserbearguy
and on Snapchat and Instagram as tomscottgo
How YouTube Video Stabilization Works

http://tomscott.com - @tomscott - From tracking a point, to analysing pixels, to plotting 3D camera moves: here's how you go from shaky handheld shots to that "gliding through the Matrix" effect. Thanks to Matt Gray for his excellent camera work - he's at http://mattg.co.uk - @unnamedculprit

2030: Privacy's Dead. What happens next?

http://tomscott.com - http://twitter.com/tomscott - At dConstruct 2014, I spin a tale of the future: not to make a prediction, but to put our current world in perspective. Thanks to all the dConstruct folks at the Brighton Dome: crew, volunteers, and audience!

The Link That Can Crash Chrome: http://a/%%30%30

http://tomscott.com - http://twitter.com/tomscott - In the news today: a link which, when moused over or clicked on, crashes Google Chrome. It's a heck of a bug: but how does it work, and what does it have to do with "null-terminated strings"? TECH DETAILS: https://code.google.com/p/chromium/issues/detail?id=533361

Why Snow and Confetti Ruin YouTube Video Quality

Your sports team wins. The confetti drops. And suddenly, the video quality falls apart. Why? Let's talk about interframe compression, bitrate, and unnecessary green screen effects. I'm at https://tomscott.com on Twitter at http://twitter.com/tomscott on Facebook at http://facebook.com/tomscott and on Instagram as @tomscottgo You might also like: How Green Screen Worked Before Computers: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=msPCQgRPPjI This uses one Creative Commons by-attribution photo, "Sony Trinitron" by Antífama, available here: http://flic.kr/p/6DBMYn

How The Self-Retweeting Tweet Worked: Cross-Site Scripting (XSS) and Twitter

http://tomscott.com - http://twitter.com/tomscott - It should never have happened. Defending against cross-site scripting (XSS) attacks is Web Security 101. And yet, today, there was a self-retweeting tweet that hit a heck of a lot of people - anyone using Tweetdeck, Twitter's "professional" client. How did it work? Time to break down the code. (Remember the old Myspace worms? They worked the same way.) THE SELF-RETWEETING TWEET: https://twitter.com/derGeruhn/status/476764918763749376

How NOT to Store Passwords! - Computerphile

Security of users' passwords should be at the forefront of every web developer's mind. Tom takes us through the insecure ways in which some websites deal with passwords. Note: At circa 8mins, the animation does not show how the 'salt' is also stored in the database alongside the username. Hashing Algorithms and Security: http://youtu.be/b4b8ktEV4Bg Security of Data on Disk: http://youtu.be/4SSSMi4X_mA More from Tom Scott: http://www.youtube.com/user/enyay and https://twitter.com/tomscott http://www.facebook.com/computerphile https://twitter.com/computer_phile This video was filmed and edited by Sean Riley. Computerphile is a sister project to Brady Haran's Numberphile. See the full list of Brady's video projects at: http://bit.ly/bradychannels

Will YouTube Ever Run Out Of Video IDs?

In the URL of each YouTube video is the 11-character video ID, unique for each video. Can they ever run out? Just how many videos can YouTube handle? To work it out, we need to talk about counting systems, and about something called Base 64. Want to know how the single camera shot was done? "Matt Bought a DJI Osmo and It's Surprisingly Good" is today's video over on the Park Bench: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dyy41yAs8nc I'm at https://tomscott.com/ or on Twitter at http://twitter.com/tomscott or on Facebook at http://facebook.com/tomscott or on Instagram as tomscottgo. Filmed by Matt Gray, who's at http://mattg.co.uk or @unnamedculprit on basically everything everywhere.

Fantastic Features We Don't Have In The English Language

http://tomscott.com - @tomscott - There are lots of interesting features in other languages, some of which English would really benefit from having. I'm going to talk about four of them: time-independence, clusivity, absolute direction, and evidentiality. Also, I've learned from last week: no irritating piano music this time! UNESCO list of endangered languages: http://www.unesco.org/culture/languages-atlas/

How To Debunk Perpetual Motion Machines - with Tom Scott

Warning: Contains flashing images. You know those videos showing working perpetual motion machines? They’re fake. Tom Scott helps us explain how to debunk them. Watch his video here: https://youtu.be/EiZU3BvqvP4 Perpetual motion machines are tantalising. Videos of contraptions claiming to have achieved the impossible goal of endless free motion rack up millions of views on YouTube. But they’re not real. Perpetual motion machines violate the fundamental laws of our universe. In this video, we teamed up with YouTuber Tom Scott to provide three simple ways to debunk persistent claims of perpetual motion: a guide to protect you from the bunk. People have been...

California City: The Largest City Never Built | Tom Scott Has a Field Day

SUBSCRIBE ►► https://goo.gl/BuQQrm Tom Scott Explains the World ► http://bit.ly/1NG0VRU The Life of a Hot Pepper ► http://bit.ly/1HDO2Fu In the middle of the Mojave desert lies California City, the largest city never built. It is now a vast network of roads carved into the sand for miles and miles with nothing but tumbleweeds and cacti to inhabit them. Tom Scott is a man on a mission to explore interesting places and share them with the world. He explains why this city didn’t grow to fill its vast scope, and how it has evolved over the years into the small, thriving and growing community...

Tom Scott vs Irving Finkel: The Royal Game of Ur | PLAYTHROUGH | International Tabletop Day 2017

YouTuber Tom Scott has flown drones through lightning, he’s taken on the first human-powered theme park, he’s even visited Penistone. But he’s never taken on a British Museum curator in the world’s oldest playable board game… UNTIL NOW! For International Tabletop Day 2017, Tom Scott was challenged by British Museum Curator Irving Finkel to a round of the oldest playable board game in the world – The Royal Game of Ur – a game whose rules were rediscovered and deciphered by Irving himself. Interested in other mysterious cuneiform tablets deciphered by Irving? Check out his book 'The Ark before Noah' to find...

I Know What You Did Five Minutes Ago

http://tomscott.com - My talk from Ignite London 4 (http://ignitelondon.net): in which I rattle through the online privacy settings of fashionable web services, and leave a surprising message. FAQ: * Is the data really pulled in live from the web? With the exception of the Wikipedia articles, which I summarised in advance, yes. Everything on screen really was live data. * Did you know who was going to appear? No — but the selection process was algorithmic, not random. It was always going to pick someone interesting. As an extra safety net, a few minutes before I went on stage someone else checked who the system...

ᑖᒻ ᔅᑳᑦ and ᖃᓂᐅᔮᖅᐸᐃᑦ

Inuktitut syllabics are brilliant. A writing system that's not an alphabet, but something really clever: an abugida, one designed from scratch for a language very unlike anything European. [Pull down the description!] Context and history: https://www.noslangues-ourlanguages.gc.ca/collaborateurs-contributors/articles/inuk-eng.html https://thediscoverblog.com/2015/06/11/aboriginal-syllabic-scripts/ I'm here because of Chris Hadfield's Generator Arctic - go check out everyone else who was on the trip, and have a look at tickets for their show at Massey Hall, Toronto, on November 12th! http://generatorevent.com Thanks to Kataisee Attagutsiak (ᑲᑕᐃᓯ ᐊᑕᒍᑦᓯᐊᖅ) for proofreading this script! She helped put Inuktitut into Unicode, so she's something of a language hero. The fellow travellers at the end are Norm and Joey...

π Tape

Follow DONG on Twitter! https://twitter.com/DoOnlineNowGuys For Our Favorite Science Toys Delivered Right To Your Door: https://www.curiositybox.com Vsauce PO Box: PO Box 33168 L.A. CA 90033 ***CREDITS*** Hosted by Michael Stevens Edited by Hannah Canetti (https://www.youtube.com/c/HannahCanetti) VFX by Eric Langlay (http://youtube.com/ericlanglay) Music by Jake Chudnow (http://youtube.com/jakechudnow) ***VSAUCE LINKS*** Vsauce1: http://youtube.com/vsauce1 Vsauce2: http://youtube.com/vsauce2 Vsauce3: http://youtube.com/vsauce3

Why The Government Shouldn't Break WhatsApp

Encryption backdoors - breaking WhatsApp and iMessage's security to let the government stop Bad Things - sounds like a reasonable idea. Here's why it isn't. A transcript of this video's available here: https://www.facebook.com/notes/tom-scott/why-the-government-shouldnt-break-whatsapp/1378434365572557/ CREDITS: Filmed at the Cambridge Centre for Computing History: http://www.computinghistory.org.uk/ Camera by Tomek: https://www.youtube.com/tomek Thanks to everyone who helped proofread my script! REFERENCES: WhatsApp's privacy protections questioned after terror attack: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-39405178 WhatsApp must be accessible to authorities, says Amber Rudd: https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2017/mar/26/intelligence-services-access-whatsapp-amber-rudd-westminster-attack-encrypted-messaging UK government renews calls for WhatsApp backdoor after London attack: https://www.theverge.com/2017/3/27/15070744/encryption-whatsapp-backdoor-uk-london-attacks Investigatory Powers Act: http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2016/25/contents/enacted India is 'ready to use' Blackberry message intercept system: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-23265091 Revealed: how US and UK spy agencies defeat internet privacy and security: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/sep/05/nsa-gchq-encryption-codes-security Councils...

Testing Cheap V.S. Expensive Wrenches On AMAZON

Testing Cheap V.S. Expensive Wrenches On AMAZON Great new! This S&K Wrench Just Went On Sale * * *https://goo.gl/igMEgW * * * SUBSCRIBE: http://bit.ly/2btWfQR WATCH MORE WRANGLERSTAR: “Recent Uploads” - https://goo.gl/Y1bFko "How To" - https://goo.gl/uFp1fu "Back To Basics" - https://goo.gl/Ghfpbe "Family Vlogs" - https://goo.gl/s8sjTL "Wildland Firefighting" - https://goo.gl/z5yj1v "MY FAVORITE TOOLS" - http://www.wranglermart.com "Our New Book" - http://www.masterbooks.com/wranglerstar/ "Contact Wranglestgar" - wranglerstardiy@gmail.com "Wranglerstar Web Store" - http://www.wranglermart.com Wranglerstar Shirts: http://wranglerstar.spreadshirt.com/ SOCIAL NETWORKS Tumblr: http://wranglerstar.tumblr.com/ Instagram: https://instagram.com/mrwranglerstar/ Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/wranglerstar1 Twitter: https://twitter.com/wranglerstar

The Moonpig Bug: How 3,000,000 Customers' Details Were Exposed

It's been all over the British news today: developer Paul Price found a bug in photo-crap-maker Moonpig's site, one that might have exposed three million users' personal information. Paul's got a great technical post about it at http://ifc0nfig.com/moonpig-vulnerability/ -- but there's no decent non-techie explanation except for the one-paragraph summaries in newspapers. It was a perfect storm of tech incompetence: here's how to avoid doing it yourself.

A VFX Breakdown, Obscure References, and Ducklings

Tom spent a lot of time in Adobe After Effects to make that video, and for some reason, he chose to do a load of effects in this behind the scenes video too! MATT: http://youtube.com/unnamedculprit | TOM: http://youtube.com/TomScottGo Tom's original video Why The YouTube Algorithm Will Always Be A Mystery: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BSpAWkQLlgM HEYYEYAAEYAAAEYAEYAA: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZZ5LpwO-An4 AzureDiamond reference: http://bash.org/?244321 AlphaGo: https://deepmind.com/research/alphago/ The Shamen - Ebenezer Goode: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YFJdUJg4wOk Pulp - Sorted For Es and Whizz: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DikWW4pOehk Elton John - Someday Out of the Blue: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Dp22KRD5zM

What on Earth Happened to the Goths?

Who were the ancient Goths of Europe, and how did they go from conquerors of the Roman Empire, to the strange underground subculture we see today? Today we will discuss the history of the Ostrogoths, Visigoths, Vandals and other relevant groups from around this time period, and how they managed to dominate Europe, if only for the briefest of moments, only to fall into obscurity in only a matter of decades (or did they?) Please let me know your thoughts on the Goths as a nation, culture, kingdom and their influences on our modern societies today. Thanks for watching! Music: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TTFG1jVKbPA Sources: https://www.livescience.com/45948-ancient-goths.html http://www.dandebat.dk/eng-dk-historie12.htm https://blogs.ancestry.com/cm/4-types-of-spanish-surnames-which-one-is-yours/ https://www.britannica.com/topic/Goth http://www.history.com/news/ask-history/who-were-the-goths-and-vandals https://www.vox.com/2014/8/19/5942585/40-maps-that-explain-the-roman-empire

Why Old Screens Make A ᴴᶦᵍʰ ᴾᶦᵗᶜʰᵉᵈ Noise

Last week I made a video surrounded by old-school CRT monitors and televisions - cathode ray tubes. And I completely forgot to remove the high pitched whine they produce. Here's why: why they make that noise, and why I didn't notice it. Thanks again to the Cambridge Centre for Computing History! http://www.computinghistory.org.uk/ Get some goddamn earplugs: http://amzn.to/2hlOGuU [affiliate link] or see Matt and me talking about them: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gzJePUquk1o I'm at http://tomscott.com on Twitter at http://twitter.com/tomscott on Facebook at http://facebook.com/tomscott and on Snapchat and Instagram as tomscottgo

Why Hold Music Sounds Worse Now

It's not your imagination; hold music on phones really did sound better in the old days. Here's why, as we talk about old telephone exchanges and audio compression. Thanks to the Milton Keynes Museum, and their Connected Earth gallery: http://www.mkmuseum.org.uk/ - they're also on Twitter as @mkmuseum, and on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/mkmuseum/ I'm at http://tomscott.com on Twitter at http://twitter.com/tomscott on Facebook at http://facebook.com/tomscott and on Snapchat and Instagram as tomscottgo

Why do medieval buildings overhang their lower floors?

Why do medieval buildings such as cottages and castles overhang their lower floors? The Machicolations shirt: https://teespring.com/castle-machicolations Music: Folk Round by Kevin MacLeod is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution license (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/) Source: http://incompetech.com/music/royalty-free/index.html?isrc=USUAN1100357 Artist: http://incompetech.com/