• How Facebook Knows You Better Than Your Friends Do | WIRED


    http://www.wired.com/2015/01/facebook-personality-test/In the movie Her, Joaquin Phoenix’s character falls in love with his computer’s operating system, which through the magic of machine learning — and Hollywood — comes to know and understand him better than anyone else. It’s a futuristic critique of human reliance on technology. But according to one new study, it’s a future that may not be all that far away.

    This week, researchers from the University of Cambridge and Stanford University released a study indicating that Facebook may be better at judging people’s personalities than their closest friends, their spouses, and in some cases, even themselves. The study compared people’s Facebook “Likes” to their own answers in a personality questionnaire, as well as the answers provided by their friends and family, and found that Facebook outperformed any human, no matter their relation to the subjects.

    That’s a substantial finding, the researchers say, particularly given the fact that human beings are evolutionarily designed to have good personality judgement. It’s what keeps us out of danger and influences our relationships. But the realization that, perhaps, computers are better equipped to make these judgement than humans are could help cut through the natural bias that pervades human interactions. Never mind what this says about how much of power Facebook wields. Read more…