Skip to Content
MIT Technology Review

AI can make your smartphone notifications less annoying

Apps could show you fewer, better alerts by using a new deep-learning trick.

The problem: If an app sends too many push notifications, users may well delete it. Send too few, and they might not use it. But deep learning could help find the Goldilocks amount of notifications—where they’re not annoying, but help boost use of the app.

A solution: A paper published on the arXiv describes how researchers trained an AI on data like browsing history, shopping history, and financial details to build a recommendation engine for when and what to show in notifications. Using it, they were able to accurately forecast a user’s preferences for frequency and content.

More for less: When the AI was tested out on a number of Taiwanese apps, it reduced the number of notifications while increasing the click-through rate.