Stop the Secrecy

Daily Dot: Meet the algorithm that knows you better than your friends

Fri, 01/16/2015 - 15:16 -- Eva Prkachin

Personality algorithms are getting frighteningly accurate.

Article by Jam Kotenko for the Daily Dot

These days, when you want to find out more about someone, the solution is almost automatic. You go to that person's Facebook profile and take a quick (or perhaps extended) gander at that person’s life. At the end of your information expedition, you'll have a better grasp of what that person is like in real life.

A new study published by researchers from the University of Cambridge suggests what we already recognize: Facebook knows everything there is to know about you—even more than actual people do.

The authors of the study, which was called “Computer-based personality judgments are more accurate than those made by humans,” asked over 86,000 people to complete a personality quiz that pinpointed key elements in their characters. Michal Kosinski, a computer scientist at Stanford University, and Youyou Wu, a social psychologist at the University of Cambridge’s Psychometrics Centre and a former Facebook intern, created the Facebook app myPersonality, which uses 100 questions to measure people’s “big five” personality traits.

- Read more at the Daily Dot