Tubi’s New AI Feature Helps You Decide What To Watch

BY Andrew Rossow

September 26, 2023

It’s Friday night and you just got home from that day’s worth of events for the latest crypto-blockchain conference, and you’re scrolling for something to watch – but, you can’t really hone in on what you’re in the mood for and just want something that plays to your current mood. 

Enter Tubi’s newest integrated search feature, Rabbit AI

Tubi, a leading on-demand video streaming platform wants to help out those viewers who often have a vague idea of what they want to watch with a newly integrated feature, called Rabbit AI. 

With over 50,000 movies and TV shows, Tubi maintains the largest library of content, which despite its ad-supported infrastructure, is best known for its underlying free streaming service. In April, Tubi’s Chief Content Officer, Adam Lewinson, told The Verge that engagement is his number one priority, due to the lack of a dual revenue stream. 

“We don’t take credit cards, we never will – we make money when viewers are consuming content,” he said. 

Could Endless Scrolling Be a Thing of the Past?

Rabbit AI is powered by ChatGPT, and is designed to help refine viewers’ overall search experience by intuitively recommending content based on conversational prompts the viewer has with the Tubi platform. 

This week, OpenAI, the parent company of ChatGPT, announced its newest upgrade for the mobile app on both iOS and Android that allows users to engage in voice conversations with the chatbot.

According to Tubi’s senior director of product, Blake Bassett, viewers can now start broad and refine from there, rather than endlessly scrolling through for a title, specific actor, or genre. Bassett told The Verge that for his five-year-old who loves ancient Egypt, searching for any shows about Egypt would often result in results that he didn’t recognize or weren’t relevant, such as cartoons instead of kids content or cartoons. 

“So I say, ‘I’m looking for something from a big studio or that is more professional,’” Bassett elaborated, adding that his family would do this until they finally found something worthwhile.

While Tubi’s AI-powered search integration certainly isn’t new, the streaming platform’s embedded feature certainly stands out because of its direct integration into the platform. Rabbit AI’s design also attempts to avoid search hallucinations, similar to ChatGPT’s tendency to “hallucinate” or make up factual scenarios that never took place. In other words, Tubi wants to confidently state that its search results are only confined to the actual content it offers on its platform, based on those conversational text prompts. 

Bassett, who identified three types of viewers:

  1. those who know exactly what they’re looking for and their keyword search is sufficient,
  2. those who don’t have a specific idea in mind and could settle between any genre of content, and lastly, 
  3. those who simply don’t care and want to spend as little time and energy as possible looking for something to watch. 

Rabbit AI, however, is primarily targeted towards that second viewer, while learning the viewer’s behavior over time to cater to that third group in making the right suggestions before they even begin their search. 

By analyzing users’ conversational search data, Tubi can enhance its content categorization, leading to more tailored recommendations for its viewers. Rabbit AI is currently in the process of rolling out its beta test in Tubi’s app to approximately 66% of the platform’s users. 

An End to the Writers’ Strike?

On Sept. 24, the Writers Guild of America (WGA) and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) announced that after 146 days of Hollywood effectively “shutting down,” that a tentative agreement has been reached with respect to a new three-year contract. 

In an email to its members, the WGA expressed its confidence, describing the deal as “exceptional…with meaningful gains and protections for writers in every sector of the membership.” While the specific terms of the agreement have yet to be released, this provisional agreement will have a significant impact on the WGA’s 11,500 members. 

At the heart of the historic strike was also the issue surrounding the utilization of AI throughout the writing process that would essentially, remove an entire line of jobs that are crucial in preserving our humanity in these works. 

As of the beginning of 2023, Tubi was hosting approximately 64 million monthly active users. Earlier this month, Tubi debuted its newest original flick (with special permission), Underdeveloped, a mockumentary comedy series starring Brian A. Metcalf, Thomas Ian Nicholas, Kelly Arjen, and Tom Arnold, which Entertainment Weekly described as a “satirical behind-the-scenes” look at a production company that is run by a group of failed and inexperienced producers and their everyday dealings with studio executives, actors, agents, and other industry insiders.

Editor’s note: This article was written by an nft now staff member in collaboration with OpenAI’s GPT-4.

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