Likewise, the company behind an app that can recommend your next TV binge, movie to watch, podcast to stream or book to read, is out today with its own entertainment-focused AI companion, Pix. Built using a combination of Likewise’s own customer data and technology from partner OpenAI, Pix can make entertainment recommendations and answer other questions via text message or email, or by communicating with Pix within the Pix mobile app, website or even by speaking to Pix’s TV app using a voice remote.
Founded in 2017 by former Microsoft communications chief Larry Cohen with financial backing from Bill Gates, the recommendations startup aims to offer an easy way for people to discover new TV shows, movies, books, podcasts and more, as well as follow other users and make lists of their favorites to share. While today, recommendations are often baked into the streaming services or apps we use to play our entertainment content, Likewise maintains a registered user base of more than 6 million, and over 2 million monthly active users.
To build Pix, the company leveraged around 600 million consumer data points along with machine learning algorithms, as well as the natural language processing technology of OpenAI’s GPT 3.5 and 4. To work, the AI chatbot learns the preferences of the individual user and then provides them with personalized recommendations — similar to Likewise itself. In addition, the bot will reach out to users when new content becomes available that matches their interests.
To use Pix, you can ask the chatbot a question like “Can you recommend a scary movie on Prime or Hulu?,” “What’s a thrilling novel similar to The Silent Patient?” or “What are some documentaries currently trending on Netflix or Max?” These questions can be posed to Pix by sending a text (877) TEXTPIX or email firstname.lastname@example.org, as well as in the Likewise app.
When Pix responds, it will also include a link to a web page that offers information about the recommended item. This page includes other details like a description, rating, reviews and, for movies and TV shows, a trailer to watch. Users can also launch the show or movie directly from Likewise if they decide to stream it now.
Offering the AI chatbot over more traditional communication methods like text or email could broaden its appeal to mainstream users who aren’t in the habit of downloading apps, but still want to try out the new technology.
“While AI chatbots have deservedly captured the public’s attention, personal companions like Pix will soon make AI practical for each of us, every day,” said Ian Morris, CEO of Likewise, in an announcement. “Likewise is thrilled to introduce Pix, a true personal entertainment companion that is available anytime and anywhere to help all of us find our next favorite TV show, movie, book, or podcast,” he added.
Pix, which is live today, is free to use as the company generates revenue through its ad-driven model by helping consumers discover new content alongside featured products and services from sponsors.