Valve releases first batch of Steam Labs experiments

Steam Leverages Machine Learning in New Interactive Recommender

Steam Leverages Machine Learning in New Interactive Recommender

For the most part, Valve tends to be very, very secretive when it comes to developing projects. Apparently Valve likes those accounts too, because as part of a set of experimental new Steam features called Steam Labs, it took the idea and ran with it: "Micro Trailers are six-second looping videos created to quickly inform viewers about titles on Steam with a presentation that's easy to skim".

The three launch experiments are Micro Trailers, the Interactive Recommender, and the Automated Show. Each one is created to provide a different service and all need to be looked at as works-in-progress.

The first experiment is "Micro Trailers", which are "six-second [trailers] for every game". You can change the algorithm to show you more of what's popular or more niche, allowing you to find some games that might not have otherwise floated to the top of your recommended games list. In another section simply scrolling down will start the trailers going.

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The second experiment has been dubbed the "Interactive Recommender". Steam has a gargantuan library of titles and hundreds are added each month, so you're bound to miss a few.

All the features are available to test out starting today and, if all goes well, could potentially become part of the main Steam app sometime down the road. "Instead", Valve says, "it looks at what games you play and what games other people play, then makes informed suggestions based on the decisions of other people playing games on Steam". But you can play with the settings as well to fine-tune things. You also have the tags option, showing videogames with certain tags or excluding certain tags. It's not really enough to get a good sense of these games, in most cases, but it is probably enough to help you decide if you'd like to know more.

Finally, there's the Automatic Show, which is kind of like a video showcase you'd see at press conferences for events such as E3.

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