Facebook, which collects a huge amount of personal data from you in order to serve you better-targeted ads, has gotten so good at profiling you that it might know who you are better than your mother, family members or friends. At least that’s what data from a new study published in the PNAS journal suggests.

FROM EARLIER: What selfies say about your disturbed mind

By looking at 86,200 people who completed 100-item personality questionnaires and shared their Facebook Likes list, researchers from University of Cambridge and Stanford concluded that computer algorithms can be used to accurately profile a person even better than a close relative.

Comparing the computer-generated profiles obtained with judgements from people close to the participants, the researchers reached the rather scary conclusion that Facebook computers might better detail a subject personality than his or her actual family and friends.

“Given enough Likes, the computers came closer to a person’s self-reported personality than their brothers, mothers, or partners,” researchers said. “In the study, a computer could more accurately predict the subject’s personality than a work colleague by analyzing just 10 Likes; more than a friend or a cohabitant (roommate) with 70, a family member (parent, sibling) with 150, and a spouse with 300 Likes.”

The average Facebook user has about 227 Likes, a number that’s on the rise.

Such studies prove that artificial intelligence is getting more and more powerful, and could one day further predict what a person might do based on the data it can collect about the subject.

“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, Cambridge University’s lead author Wu Youyou said. “In this context, the human-computer interactions depicted in science fiction films such as ‘Her’ seem to be within our reach.”

The full study is available at the source link below.

View Comments