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After Hours

Microsoft To Use Jinni Content Discovery Engine on Xbox

Microsoft To Use Jinni Content Discovery Engine on Xbox
September 6, 2013 12:05PM

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Entering a keyword into a search bar does not always reflect what you really want, especially in video selection on the Xbox. "Jinni is a Taste Engine," the Jinni team says. "We look at film through the lens of what makes you love or hate anything you watch. With a Taste Engine, you don't search by what you're looking for, you search by what you like."

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Catch a rising star in technology lingo: "content genetics." That term will become increasingly clear now that Microsoft has partnered with content-discovery provider Jinni in a multi-year agreement.

The Tel Aviv-based solution provider announced Friday its deal with Microsoft to power entertainment discovery on Xbox video game and entertainment systems.

Jinni goes far beyond matching pirate rigs with yachts under a "boats" tag. The technology gets to work in categorizing movies according to "genes," with proprietary "Genome" technology. Jinni turns to user reviews and metadata to select film and video content based on mood, style, plot, setting and much more beyond apples to apples. The algorithm is the result of experts at Jinni who can weave a solution out of mining and modeling data.

Knowing What Viewers Want

Jinni translates its technology into language that is easier to appreciate for all consumers. Entering a keyword into a search bar does not always reflect what you really want, especially in the subtly complex world of multimedia viewing. "Jinni is a Taste Engine," the Jinni team says. "We look at film through the lens of what makes you love or hate anything you watch. With a Taste Engine, you don't search by what you're looking for, you search by what you like."

Yosi Glick, co-founder and CEO of Jinni, has built on years of work contributing his software expertise with a core team of experts in such areas as natural language processing and machine learning. They now have a Jinni blueprint for content discovery.

"The usual keywords and genres don't even try to capture the meaty stories and heady experiences of film," says Glick on Jinni's Web site, explaining what motivated him to form Jinni.

The starting point is manual tagging. Then, using advanced machine-learning technology and natural language processing, Jinni's system indexes new titles at a level of consistency that creative human taggers cannot reach. Relevant data is sifted and sorted to build a "genetic code."

Winning Recommendation Engine

Under this licensing arrangement, Microsoft brings its own expertise in content discovery to the table in synergy with Jinni's. There is a pairing going on between Jinni's "Genome" technology and Microsoft's "Conversational Understanding, a context-pegging powerhouse technology that better figures out what users mean.

Video discovery is a hot topic of interest in the media industry, a fresh-eyed cousin of content discovery, as media owners vie to support users who need to sift through an increasingly enormous bucket of options. Apple's recent buy of the start-up Match online content service is another sign of growing interest in video discovery.

Jinni's software technology will enjoy more name recognition via the Xbox deal but the company has already picked up numerous awards.

Jinni has been a contender for Webby Awards, a Red Herring 100 Europe winner, an SXSW Web Awards nominee, a finalist in the 2012 Connected TV Awards for Outstanding Technology Innovation, and has been selected as the best movie recommendation engine by CNET and Lifehacker.

This Microsoft partnership is a licensing arrangement. Jinni also provides its solutions to other content providers, including European content providers Belgacom and Prisa TV.

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