Computer-based personality judgments are more accurate than those made by humans

We’re walking personality machines but computers beat us at our own game

Michal Kosinski, Computer Science Professor at Stanford

Kosinski wrote these words in a paper which describes a study which found that computers processing Facebook likes are better at predicting personality than subjects’ colleagues, family, and sometimes even than the subjects themselves.

The study itself was not terribly complicated going on. Kosinski, Wouyou and Stillwell correlated answers to a personality test with Facebook Likes and used that to predict the personality traits of others.

Something interesting came out though, which is that computers were more intelligent than humans in a narrow but significant domain. The key to success was data – both access and ability to process – and computers will have increasingly more of these as time passes.

Ray Kurzweil and others have predicted that computers will comprehensively pass the Turing Test at some point in the next decade and this study offers a glimpse of how that might happen.