We Are What We Like

Alessia Andreotti
January 14th 2015

Every time we use our PC we leave behind lots of personal information that computers use to understand our personality and what we like, far better than our own mother, family or friends.

According to a study conducted by researchers at the University of Cambridge and Stanford University, our computer – equipped with a list of things we "Like" on Facebook - knows us more than our kith and kin (and probably even better than we know ourselves).

The researchers have compared the personality traits of 86.000 participants acquired via an analysis of their Facebook activity. By collecting the social media "Likes", the computer model proved to be very precise at identify a person’s self-reported personality. Where the team had gathered data from over 100 Facebook "Likes" for user, their algorithms could determine the character of that person more accurately than the circle of friends.

There is more! This technique is not limited to Facebook, every evidence left on a PC, from the websites we visited to the purchase we made, can define what kind of person we are. The researchers’ team suggest that the study could be used also to predict our suitability for a job. Instead of applying for new employment, algorithms would find it for us by scouring internet data. Might be time to become more selective about what we like on Facebook!

Source: Quartz

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