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Facebook 'likes' can say a lot about you

A computer can be a better judge of character than an individual's parents or close friends, research by scientists has shown.

All it needs is the right input data - namely the thumbs-up clues left by someone's Facebook likes.

By "mining" for likes, new software was able to predict personality more accurately than close friends and family could.

Ms Wu Youyou, from Cambridge University's Psychometrics Centre, said: "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.

Voice

"In this context, the human-computer interactions depicted in science fiction films such as Her seem to be within our reach."

In Her, starring Joaquin Phoenix, a man develops a close relationship with an intelligent computer operating system personified by a female voice and calling itself Samantha.

The researchers found that their software was able to predict a study participant's personality more accurately than a work colleague by analysing only 10 likes.

Inputting 70 likes allowed it to obtain a truer picture of someone's character.

hnews@herald.ie


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