Skip to Content
Artificial intelligence

AI can make your smartphone notifications less annoying

March 15, 2018

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.

Deep Dive

Artificial intelligence

Why Meta’s latest large language model survived only three days online

Galactica was supposed to help scientists. Instead, it mindlessly spat out biased and incorrect nonsense.

DeepMind’s game-playing AI has beaten a 50-year-old record in computer science

The new version of AlphaZero discovered a faster way to do matrix multiplication, a core problem in computing that affects thousands of everyday computer tasks.

Google’s new AI can hear a snippet of song—and then keep on playing

The technique, called AudioLM, generates naturalistic sounds without the need for human annotation.

Stay connected

Illustration by Rose Wong

Get the latest updates from
MIT Technology Review

Discover special offers, top stories, upcoming events, and more.

Thank you for submitting your email!

Explore more newsletters

It looks like something went wrong.

We’re having trouble saving your preferences. Try refreshing this page and updating them one more time. If you continue to get this message, reach out to us at with a list of newsletters you’d like to receive.