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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
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.

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

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

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/

14 Minutes, 47 Questions

With 14 mins left in the camera, we asked twitter for questions. MATT: http://youtube.com/unnamedculprit | TOM: http://youtube.com/TomScottGo Why Does Tom Always Wear Red T-Shirts? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p4SoSBo_nsI Containing the Worst Nuclear Disaster in History: Chernobyl's New Confinement Structure https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vK8ykPmtRyg Real Life Emoji Keyboard https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3AtBE9BOvvk FAQs What kit do you use? Short answer: Røde NTG2, Roland R44, Sony RX100ii, GoPro 4 The Kit List: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wNIMMgcifqs What do you use to edit? Short answer: Adobe Creative Suite. Editing: Why Game On & Citation Needed Take So Long: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LcUoVZwLUOE

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!

What Will Happen in the Next 1000 Years?

Protect your information with a free account from Dashlane: https://dashlane.com/secondthought What Will Happen in the Next 1000 Years? – Second Thought SUBSCRIBE HERE: http://bit.ly/2nFsvTS WATCH LAST VIDEO HERE: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL6SJktA-ecJR_Fq2hhYVEFS11cf1YzG27 New video every Friday! Follow Second Thought on Social Media! Twitter: https://twitter.com/_SecondThought Facebook: https://facebook.com/secondthoughtchannel Reddit: https://reddit.com/r/SecondThought Support Second Thought on Patreon! https://patreon.com/secondthought Watch More Second Thought: Latest Uploads: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL6SJktA-ecJR_Fq2hhYVEFS11cf1YzG27 Spaaaaaace!: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL6SJktA-ecJQRpqT-hMTTFx8A6VVH3m6v What If...: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL6SJktA-ecJRI7VrWf_-mT0z6lrN--Cvi Popular Videos: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL6SJktA-ecJRx7ZaO9J04Kbob_u5baHxN About Second Thought: Second Thought is a channel devoted to the things in life worth thinking about! Science, history, politics, religion...basically everything you're not supposed to talk about at the dinner table. Welcome! If you're tired of learning after watching all my videos, come unwind on my gaming channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCMvcO_t4lfDr34Dmm3NA5nw Business Email: secondthoughtchannel@gmail.com

3D Printing Stainless Steel with Giant Robot Arms

At Autodesk's Pier 9 workshop in San Francisco -- and no, this isn't an ad, pull down the description for more! -- there are giant robot arms using welders to 3D print with stainless steel. Which seemed like a good place to talk about programming abstractions, high-level languages, training pendants, and just how safe something like a robot arm needs to be. FULL DISCLOSURE: Autodesk were good enough to cover my travel to San Francisco, but they haven't paid me and they had no control over the script, the content or the final cut! You can see more about Pier 9...

British Plugs Are Better Than All Other Plugs, And Here's Why

http://tomscott.com - http://twitter.com/tomscott - ALL THE ELECTRICS I USED WERE UNPLUGGED. DO NOT DO THIS. Yep, I'm going all patriotic again. And while I'm willing to bet that a good number of British folks know the first half of this video, there's one thing about slack in here that I only just learned myself.

How Machines Learn

How do all the algorithms around us learn to do their jobs? Bot Wallpapers on Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/posts/15959388 Discuss this video: https://www.reddit.com/r/CGPGrey/comments/7klmd3/how_do_machines_learn/ Footnote: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wvWpdrfoEv0 Podcasts: https://www.youtube.com/user/HelloInternetPodcast https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCqoy014xOu7ICwgLWHd9BzQ Thank you to my supporters on Patreon: James Bissonette, James Gill, Cas Eliëns, Jeremy Banks, Thomas J Miller Jr MD, Jaclyn Cauley, David F Watson, Jay Edwards, Tianyu Ge, Michael Cao, Caron Hideg, Andrea Di Biagio, Andrey Chursin, Christopher Anthony, Richard Comish, Stephen W. Carson, JoJo Chehebar, Mark Govea, John Buchan, Donal Botkin, Bob Kunz https://www.patreon.com/cgpgrey How neural networks really work with the real linear algebra: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aircAruvnKk Music by: http://www.davidreesmusic.com

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...

Why Does Linus Pirate Windows??

Enter Soundcore's giveaway for a chance to win 1 of 300 speakers here: http://geni.us/wI9RL1 Customize your own Backplate for your GPU or SSD with CableMod: http://geni.us/kw6D1V Activate Windows. A surprisingly frequent appearance on Linus Tech Tips. But why would we pirate Windows? Will Microsoft sue us? Discuss on the forum: https://linustechtips.com/main/topic/967694-why-does-linus-pirate-windows/ Our Affiliates, Referral Programs, and Sponsors: https://linustechtips.com/main/topic/... Linus Tech Tips merchandise at http://www.designbyhumans.com/shop/Li... Linus Tech Tips posters at http://crowdmade.com/linustechtips Our Test Benches on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/shop/linustech... Our production gear: http://geni.us/cvOS Twitter - https://twitter.com/linustech Facebook - http://www.facebook.com/LinusTech Instagram - https://www.instagram.com/linustech Twitch - https://www.twitch.tv/linustech Intro Screen Music Credit: Title: Laszlo - Supernova Video Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PKfxm... iTunes Download Link: https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/sup... Artist Link: https://soundcloud.com/laszlomusic Outro Screen Music Credit: Approaching...

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

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

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.

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...

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 Is Sea Level, Anyway?

In Calipatria, California, the town is below sea level -- but their flag pole isn't. But what does "sea level" mean? Is it just theory, or is there more behind it? 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

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

Pod Cars of the Past and Future: The Morgantown PRT

The Morgantown Personal Rapid Transit system threads its way through West Virginia University, taking thousands of people a day around the campus, non-stop. It's a system that was meant to be the future: so why isn't it? Thanks to all the WVU Transportation and Parking team for helping with this video! You can find more about the project here: http://transportation.wvu.edu/prt And the technical manual for the system is here, as a PDF: http://assets.slate.wvu.edu/resources/1610/1406301617.pdf On camera, thanks to MATT GRAY: http://youtube.com/unnamedculprit - http://twitter.com/unnamedculprit - http://mattg.co.uk And thanks to DAN W: http://twitter.com/iamdanw And edited by Michelle Martin: http://twitter.com/mrsmmartin ! I'm at http://tomscott.com on Twitter at http://twitter.com/tomscott on Facebook at...

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...

The Problem with Time & Timezones - Computerphile

A web app that works out how many seconds ago something happened. How hard can coding that be? Tom Scott explains how time twists and turns like a twisty-turny thing. It's not to be trifled with! A Universe of Triangles: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KdyvizaygyY LZ Compression in Text: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=goOa3DGezUA Characters, Symbols and the Unicode Miracle: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MijmeoH9LT4 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 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

How To Read Text In Binary

http://tomscott.com - @tomscott - No, seriously. Here's how to read text when all you can see is a bunch of 0s and 1s. It's easier than it seems. I... I think I might have gone off the deep end a bit here.