November 1, 2016

Rise of the machines: Facebook knows you better than your mom or spouse

By analysing self-reported personality scores for what are known as the "big five" psychological traits - openness, conscientiousness, extroversion, agreeableness, and neuroticism - researchers have created an algorithm which can accurately predict personalities simply based on Facebook interactions.

And, surprisingly, it knows your character better than your close friends.

The team found that their software was able to predict a study participant's personality more accurately than a work colleague by analysing just 10 'Likes'.

Inputting 70 'Likes' allowed it to obtain a truer picture of someone's character than a friend or room-mate, while 150 'Likes' outperformed a parent, sibling or partners. It took 300 'Likes' before the programme was able to judge character better than a spouse.


Lead author Wu Youyou, from Cambridge University's Psychometrics Centre, said: "In the future, computers could be able to infer our psychological traits and react accordingly, leading to the emergence of emotionally-intelligent and socially skilled machines.


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