Comment on Algorithm play #mscedc I have chosen to meddle with my Netflix profile and become a Romantic / well being movie fan out of a sudden. Find my Day to day Steller log book on Pinterest. by msiegenthaler

Hi Thomas!
That was really cool. I especially liked your observation of the thumbnails on Netflix. It had never occurred to me that those change with a purpose, using different thumbnails to make the same movie appeal to different viewers. It’s an interesting idea that being in Mexico might influence your algorithm.
I really liked your presentation style by the way, very slick.
I also didn’t know some of those movies were on Netflix and now I’m going to go watch them…


End Week Summary 9 – Who’s algorithm is it anyway?

While my algorithm play started to show results  as the Netflix algorithm, started to advertise pieces of its audio- visual fundus I have never seen before, while hiding others from my view, the question of the role of algorithm based AI in education (now and in the future) and the play started to connect.

Today digital learning is strongly linked with the idea of increased learning effectivity and efficiency. Automated algorithms are hereby considered as helpful tools, which collect huge quantities of data of the learners behaviour in order to focus educational content on these weaknesses. The center of an algorithm based education is the learner and its weaknesses to cope with a given curriculum. But is this all education and teaching is about?  The idea of the independent learner,  knowing exactly what she or he wants and needs to learn is a myth. Knox, WIlliamson and Bayne (2020) provide a consistent assessment on this neoliberal revisioning of the education sector by refering to Biestas identification  of “learnification” and is implications on the digital education future.

“Not only is the figure of the learner placed
at the centre of the educational arrangement, but the individual becomes the site of learning.”


“Learnification is portrayed as blind to broader questions about the role and purpose
of education in wider society,(…)”

I see comparision of this to the algorithms in the digital world. Netflix algorithms using my online behaviour only to shape my profile to be more effective (make me wach more movies?!?). There is no other interest beyond that.

So will the algorithm based AI embedded in digital education systems, apps or programs replace the teacher in future? No, the teacher – learner relationship is more then just effectiveness. It is about supporting, guiding, leading, allowing errors, building personality, shaping personality, etc and or as well as of course the success or achievement of learning targets.

The algorithm in many applications is in most cases focussing only on the achievement of the highest gains but the question who’s gains remains.

“Neoliberal business philosophies and practices promoted by corporations and their partner foundations, supported by international organizations, financiers, and bankers, and welcomed, or at least tolerated by compliant governments, are trying to transform education from a government responsibility and social right into investment opportunities.”(Huff Post (2017)



Jeremy Knox, Ben Williamson & Sian Bayne (2020) Machine behaviourism:
future visions of ‘learnification’ and ‘datafication’ across humans and digital technologies, Learning,
Media and Technology, 45:1, 31-45, DOI: 10.1080/17439884.2019.1623251

A Netflix Algorithmic Play

I have decided to play with my Netflix account and transform it (with a little help from the Netflix algorithm) into a romantic movie selection.

I am trying to prove that Netflix collect tons of data of each user, uses the information to develop a individual profile and uses it to develop my profile in a way to raise my interest in waching more and more movies. The algorithm creates a world of its own interpretation and is therefore not objective. Maybe the word “prove” is not fully correct as it is a fact well known about Netflix.

I used steller to develop a day to day screenshot diary and posted the results via Pinterest on Twitter and my Liveblog.

Have a look into the mixed results of my algorithmic play.

Link to Pinterest 


or on steller