An AI beat humans in a selfie personality test

Brittany A. Roston - May 25, 2020, 1:00 pm CDT
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An AI beat humans in a selfie personality test

Another study has found that artificial intelligence is able to beat humans — this time it involves judging selfies to determine the subject’s personality traits. The machine was best able to identify one particular trait, at least compared to humans, but it was ultimately able to determine five different personality qualities based on nothing more than a picture of a face.

The new study comes from Russia where researchers developed an AI that could beat the performance of humans and other machines that were detailed in past studies. The AI judged the selfie subjects for extraversion, neuroticism, agreeableness, openness, and conscientiousness.

The team found, among other things, that their AI produced consistent personality judgments when analyzing different selfies of the same person. As well, the machine was more accurate when evaluating selfies of women compared to men and it was best able to make judgments about a person’s conscientiousness compared to the other personality traits.

The researchers describe the accuracy of the AI’s assessments as ‘above average’ and, of note, better than the results from human volunteers who had met the stranger in person. The study involved 31,000 selfies from around 12,000 volunteers who, in addition to providing the selfies, also filled out a personality questionnaire.

There are many potential uses for a machine that can judge personality based on a person’s face, the researchers explain, including potential use in advertising — by first assessing a person’s face, a company could target a consumer with products that they’re more likely to enjoy based on their personality results.


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