Download
Video player loading...
 
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
Videos: 440
Subscriber: 1,245,692
Views: 235,564,409
If this video violated? Please submit request complaints or delete it right now..
Submit request or Delete this video

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
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

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!

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

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.

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 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

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...

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

Wheels, Bombs, and Perpetual Motion Machines

This is a collaboration with the Royal Institution! Go check out their video here: https://youtu.be/sScrtGdKmho -- Perpetual motion machines are badly named. And impossible. But that hasn't stopped a lot of people trying to build them. Sure, you could try and argue physics: but there's a more common-sense reason why free energy's not coming any time soon. I'm at http://www.tomscott.com on Twitter at http://twitter.com/tomscott on Facebook at http://facebook.com/tomscott and on Instagram and Snapchat as tomscottgo

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...

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...

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

Why Electronic Voting is a BAD Idea - Computerphile

Voting is centuries old, why can't we move with the times and use our phones, tablets and computers? Tom Scott lays out why e-voting is such a bad idea. 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. Computer Science at the University of Nottingham: http://bit.ly/nottscomputer Computerphile is a sister project to Brady Haran's Numberphile. See the full list of Brady's video projects at: http://bit.ly/bradychannels

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.

The Economics of YouTube: How Do You Support Yourself?

How can you make enough money off YouTube to live? Well, it's a bit like being in a band. Subscribe to MATT: http://YouTube.com/unnamedculprit - Subscribe to TOM: http://YouTube.com/TomScottGo REFERENCED THINGS: Get Rich or Die Vlogging: http://fusion.net/story/244545/famous-and-broke-on-youtube-instagram-social-media/ Charlie Brooker on TV budgets: https://youtu.be/MszYiKczYls?t=51s Public Service Broadcasting perform "Go" at Brixton Academy: https://youtu.be/nkZICN_8P-A "Loads of Huge UK Rock Bands Still Have Day Jobs": http://noisey.vice.com/en_uk/blog/our-favourite-bands-and-their-day-jobs Tim and Tom's music blog that no-one reads: http://europlop.co.uk

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...

Tom Rants About Phone Numbers For Roughly Sixteen Minutes

Most of Britain don't understand how UK phone numbers work, never mind the rest of the world. MATT: http://youtube.com/unnamedculprit | TOM: http://youtube.com/TomScottGo ~More information~ Telephone Numbers in the UK: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Telephone_numbers_in_the_United_Kingdom Telephone Numbers in Europe https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Telephone_numbers_in_Europe Ofcom Telephone Are Codes List: https://www.ofcom.org.uk/phones-telecoms-and-internet/advice-for-consumers/advice/telephone-area-codes-tool Subscriber Trunk Dialling: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Subscriber_trunk_dialling Live and Kicking: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Live_%26_Kicking Live and Kicking Phone Number: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=np8LvjnboPA

The Rise of the Machines – Why Automation is Different this Time

Automation in the Information Age is different. Books we used for this video: The Rise of the Robots: http://amzn.to/2sFQTed The Second Machine Age: http://amzn.to/2szATee Support us on Patreon so we can make more videos (and get cool stuff in return): https://www.patreon.com/Kurzgesagt?ty=h Robot Poster & Kurzgesagt merch here: http://bit.ly/1P1hQIH The music of the video here: Soundcloud: http://bit.ly/2sfwlJf Bandcamp: http://bit.ly/2r17DNc Facebook: http://bit.ly/2qW6bY4 – Study about job automation in the next two decades: http://bit.ly/1mj2qSJ THANKS A LOT TO OUR LOVELY PATRONS FOR SUPPORTING US: Brandon Eversole, Andrew Anglehart, Christian Ahlin, Kathleen Woolum, Estel Anahmias, Adam Schlender, Mike Luque, Encyclo, Stevie Taylor, Brent Yoder, Invisibleman, Jeff Lam, Christopher Hayes, Oliver Walker, gwendolyn bellermann, Matt Logan,...

Why Tom Couldn't Show You The World's Largest Artificial Sun

Tom saw something very impressive in person. Here's why it didn't look anywhere near as impressive on camera. Also hand rubbing. MATT: http://youtube.com/unnamedculprit | TOM: http://youtube.com/TomScottGo Synlight – The World's Largest Artificial Sun - http://www.dlr.de/dlr/en/desktopdefault.aspx/tabid-10080/150_read-21807/ Wendelstein 7X (An experimental stellarator nuclear fusion reactor) - https://www.ipp.mpg.de/w7x Neckarwestheim and the End Of The World: Citation Needed 1x06 - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g1KTl176Mww

Wana Decrypt0r (Wanacry Ransomware) - Computerphile

$300 or your files are toast: Dr Pound takes a look at the latest ransomware to be doing the rounds. How Wana Decrypt0r encrypts files: https://youtu.be/pLluFxHrc30 Microsoft Blog: http://bit.ly/Computerphile-Wana_MS Professor Ross Anderson's blog: http://bit.ly/Computerphile-Wana_Ross MalwareTech's blog: http://bit.ly/Computerphile-Wana_Mal End to End Encryption: https://youtu.be/jkV1KEJGKRA Internet of Things Problems: https://youtu.be/PLiE0Nr8VOE http://www.facebook.com/computerphile https://twitter.com/computer_phile This video was filmed and edited by Sean Riley. Computer Science at the University of Nottingham: http://bit.ly/nottscomputer Computerphile is a sister project to Brady Haran's Numberphile. More at http://www.bradyharan.com

How Computers Compress Text: Huffman Coding and Huffman Trees

Computers store text (or, at least, English text) as eight bits per character. There are plenty of more efficient ways that could work: so why don't we use them? And how can we fit more text into less space? Let's talk about Huffman coding, Huffman trees, and Will Smith. Thanks to the Cambridge Centre for Computing History: http://www.computinghistory.org.uk/ Thanks to Chris Hanel at Support Class for the graphics: http://supportclass.net Filmed by Tomek: https://youtube.com/tomek And thanks to my proofreading team! 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

The Collapsed Dam That Stopped Los Angeles

Los Angeles needed water, and lots of it. It still does. And that water comes from the LA Aqueduct, masterplanned by William Mulholland. The end of his career, though, wasn't such a triumph. This is the story of the St Francis Dam, and the collapse that stopped Los Angeles from taking over an entire valley. THANKS TO: Ed from Media Giraffes - go visit his channel for the 4K drone footage! https://www.youtube.com/user/mediagiraffes AND THANKS TO: Alex from Drone Gear - go visit his channel for drone reviews and giveaways! https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCMcrU0kyE_BMtgKysvt5uUA Also, here I am: FACEBOOK: http://facebook.com/tomscott TWITTER: http://twitter.com/tomscott INSTAGRAM: http://instagram.com/tomscottGO