Machine learning could lead to smarter mobile notifications

Taiwan-based researchers figured out how to optimize which notifications you receive.

Push notifications on phones are both a blessing and a curse. After all, it's important to get information you need when it happens. But some apps send way too many push notifications, which often leads to turning off notifications for the app or deleting it altogether. The question is, how do you balance between necessary and extraneous push notifications? A new AI, outlined by Ton Ton Hsieng-De Huang and Hung-Yu Kao on, may be able to do just that.

This machine learning, which the developers call C-3PO (heh), worked by analyzing a person's browsing history, shopping history and financial details. The data was provided by Leopard Mobile, a Taiwan-based internet company. The neural network then analyzed the pop-up notifications people were getting and which ones they clicked on. As a result, the AI was able to make push notifications "smarter," reducing the number of overall notifications and increasing the click through rates on the ones that did appear, according to the article.

The team still has work to do. The next steps are to improve the neural network model by decreasing the number of complex tasks it has to perform. Additionally, they would like to apply this model to a system that advertisers could use to optimize when and how often they are delivering ads.

Anyone who's struggled with the sheer number of push notifications on their phones can see why this could potentially be a good thing. The easiest solution to decreasing push notifications is to turn off notifications or delete an app altogether. This gives users and app developers both a potentially better option.