But, in the NYTimes yesterday, a not-purposefully amusing look at the competition.
Here are some choice snippets:
- Headline: Netflix Competitors Learn the Power of Teamwork
- It has also changed conventional wisdom about the best way to build the automated systems.
- The biggest lesson learned, according to members of the two top teams, was the power of collaboration.
- The formula for success was to bring together people with complementary skills and combine different methods of problem-solving.
If they were some sort of business sociologists, or organizational communication people, or weren't "statisticians, machine learning experts and computer engineers," then they would have known this years ago.
I am happy to see this combination of sociology, statistics, and computing covered in the mainstream media, but it is rather sad to see our understanding of people and work so misrepresented.
“The contest was almost a race to agglomerate as many teams as possible,” said David Weiss, a Ph.D. candidate in computer science at the University of Pennsylvania and a member of the Ensemble. “The surprise was that the collaborative approach works so well, that trying all the algorithms, coding them up and putting them together far exceeded our expectations.”Maybe they shouldn't ask Ph.D. candidates in computer science about the psychology and sociology of human work? I don't think it is so much that collaboration worked well, but that a diverse team works well, and that is not new.
(OT, I think my college English advisor was named David Weiss.)