Big Truck Big RV

The Big Truck Big RV channel showed up on my YouTube feed. Not unexpected. I scan a lot of RV related content on the web and YouTube knows that very well.

About 70 percent of the time that you or I spend on YouTube is spent watching what the YouTube algorithm recommends.

That algorithm has become very, very sophisticated lately. I started noticing the changes when Google introduced machine learning and deep neural networks into YouTube’s recommendation engine a few years back.

That algorithm is the single most important component of YouTube and it has been described as one of the largest scale and most sophisticated recommendation systems in existence. Although very few people know how the algorithm is coded, my understanding is that the algorithm is very dynamic, constantly changing, and self-learning. Endowed with compute power that seems beyond human comprehension, the mission for YouTube is to help you find the videos that you want to watch and to keep you watching them.

In short, an algorithm is shaping part of your world view. Perhaps a big part of your world view.

Oh, and we have absolutely no idea how the algorithm works nor is the algorithm subject to any specific legal or regulatory oversight — at least not yet.

The algorithm does provide content that I like to watch. I sometimes jump on YouTube just to see what might be on my recommended list.

One other quick thought on the recommended videos. It tells me what I am interested in watching. On my list will be videos about RVs, guitar, audio engineering, detailing, technology, politics and photography. Take a look at your recommended list. Chances are, it says a lot about what you like which is exactly what the algorithm wants to know about you. Google tracks all sorts of things about you.

Back to the topic at hand.

I like the Big Trucks Big RV channel and I am happy that YouTube’s algorithm brought it forward to my recommended list. I enjoyed watching these two videos on how fifth wheel trailers are manufactured. I found it fascinating to watch. Very similar to our recent experience when we recently toured the production facilities at Newmar.

Now subscribed.

1 reply
  1. Tara
    Tara says:

    Great observations, Dad. It puts into words something that’s been lingering at the edge of my mind. What we see online says much more about who we are (what we’re interested in, what we want to see) than it says about what the world is like. Necessary to take in a much wider set of perspectives to understand the latter, and helpful to take note of what’s being recommended to understand the former a little better (or at least to understand what we’re projecting to the people we interact with online). 🙂


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