We’re all aware of the fact that computers are getting smarter.
Social platform algorithms are getting more intelligent and are learning more about our likes, dislikes, and personalities in order to advertise to us in a targeted manner. But does your computer know you? And if so, how well does it?
Well, by analysing the websites that you visit, the clothes that you browse through, the things you like on Facebook, as well as many other things, the internet can gauge a pretty good estimation of who you are, your age, your interests and your behaviours (online and offline).
Researchers at the University of Cambridge and Stanford University said that our Facebook “likes” can be used to gather a bunch of information about the user including, in some cases, their sexual orientation and political opinions.
So, they put this theory to the test: man against machine! Dr Youyou Wu and her colleagues used data from 70,520 willing Facebook users, and ran it through a system based to categorise five personality traits. These are agreeableness, conscientiousness, extroversion, neuroticism and openness.
As part of the test the willing Facebook users were asked to complete a personality questionnaire. People they know were also asked to carry out a survey about the user as a character witness. After working through all of the answered questionnaires and surveys, the results were in.
With enough “likes” by the Facebook user, the computer was able to more accurately match the personality of the Facebook user than the friends, family and peers of the user! By looking at just 10 Facebook “likes”, the computer was able to outperform a work colleague. Analysing 70 “likes” let the machine rival a friend or flatmate. Using 150 “likes”, it trumped a family member, but not a partner – it took 300 “likes” to match or outdo their deductive power.
From the study, the average user had 227 “likes”. This means that in general, the computer found it easy to out-smart the humans at their own game.
What do you think about the growing intelligence that computers have about us? Do you thinking that the benefits out-shine the disadvantages? Let us know what you think.