I always wondered how Netflix got so good at spoonfeeding me movies I might like. Back in 2006, Netflix announced a $1 million prize for the team that comes the closest to improve the Netflix recommendation system by 10 percent. No one has claimed the grand prize yet, but one team, “BellKor in Big Chaos,” came close with a 9.44% improvement.
Originally two separate teams, BellKor and Big Chaos decided to collaborate their efforts to win the grand prize. This team will be awarded the second annual $50,000 Progress Prize for this achievement. BellKor in BigChaos is one of the 35,000 teams from 180 countries participating in the race to 10%.
If you and your friends think you have what it takes to earn the Netflix crown, register your team at the Netflix Prize’s website. From there you can download a dataset of 100 million anonymous movie ratings ranging from one to five stars. Otherwise, you can watch the action from the sidelines.