New Artificial Intelligence Can Predict Personality

In the near future, when you apply for a job or join a new team at work, a machine, rather than a human, may assess your personality traits to see if you are suitable.  (Image: via   pixabay  /  CC0 1.0)
In the near future, when you apply for a job or join a new team at work, a machine, rather than a human, may assess your personality traits to see if you are suitable. (Image: via pixabay / CC0 1.0)
In the near future, when you apply for a job or join a new team at work, a machine, rather than a human, may assess your personality traits to see if you are suitable.

Realising that people could manipulate conventional personality tests, a team of computing and psychology researchers from Macquarie, CSIRO, and the University of Sydney decided to investigate ways to make personality detection more objective.

Associate Professor Shlomo Berkovsky, of Macquarie’s Australian Institute of Health Innovation, said:

So the team thought of a new approach:

Berkovsky presented this new research earlier this month at CHI 2019, the premier international conference in human-computer interaction hosted by the Association of Computing Machinery, the peak global computing research body.

The research also won the Best Paper Award of the conference — a true recognition of the originality and significance of the work.

No cheating: Specialist equipment delivers honest result

The researchers decided to track people’s bodily responses, such as pupil dilation, brain activity, and skin conductance (when you are excited and your skin momentarily exudes micro sweat beads) as they looked at evocative videos and images.

To conduct the experiment and collect the data, they brought 21 people into their lab. They fitted them with special glasses that had two tiny built-in cameras to capture their pupil dilation and eye movements, a headset to record brain activity and two electrode clips on their fingers to detect their heartbeat and skin conductance.

“The AI methods would be cheaper, faster, and more accurate than the current expert assessment tools.”

Then, the researchers showed these people validated images and videos already backed up with earlier research that indicated they evoked emotions. Each person spent about 14 minutes watching videos and nine minutes looking at the images while their bodily responses were recorded.

Once they’d collected the data, the researchers processed it and used Artificial Intelligence (AI) to predict 16 personality traits from three established, and widely used in psychology, personality assessment models.

Quantity is key

The predicted personality traits, to their surprise, were very accurate. Berkovsky said:

He added that similar predictive AI technologies could possibly be used in the future for recruitment or team-building purposes:

Looking to the future

Already, Berkovsky is using this AI predictive capability as the first stepping stone into wider research he is involved in at the Australian Institute of Health Innovation, saying:

His team is trying to use AI to predict the development and progression of mental and neural disorders, such as Alzheimer’s disease, as well as learning difficulties, such as dyslexia, which is very hard to diagnose. Berkovsky said:

Provided by: Melinda Ham, Macquarie University [Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.]

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