Technology

How AI can read your personality

 By Agata Boxe

They say that the eyes are the window to the soul. Now, with a quick glance at your eyes’ movements, artificial intelligence can tell your personality type…

In a recent study, published this year in the journal Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, researchers tracked the eye movements of 42 people while the participants engaged in daily activities. Using artificial intelligence, the scientists were able to predict major personality traits, such as neuroticism, extraversion, agreeableness and conscientiousness.
“People are always looking for improved, personalized services. However, today’s robots and computers are not socially aware, so they cannot adapt to non-verbal cues,” study co-author Tobias Loetscher, a senior lecturer in the School of Psychology, Social Work and Social Policy at the University of Australia, said in a statement. “This research provides opportunities to develop robots and computers so that they can become more natural, and better at interpreting human social signals.”
In the past few years, research interest in the use of machine learning for discerning personality traits and anticipating behavior has grown. For example, in a 2015 study published in Vision Research, scientists were able to predict curiosity about responses to trivia questions using eye-movement tracking tools. However, that and other similar studies were conducted solely in the lab, which limited their real-life applicability. To address this potential limitation, Loetscher and his colleagues had the subjects perform simple tasks outside the lab.

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Eye-tracking glasses can track the wearer’s eye movements, as well as identify what they’re looking at (SensoMotoric Instruments)

The researchers equipped participants with eye-movement trackers, asking them to walk around their campus for about 10 minutes and buy items from a campus shop. The scientists also evaluated the individuals’ personalities by administering standard psychological questionnaires. The investigators then figured out which personality traits were linked to specific eye movements based on information such as blink duration and rate. It turned out that the artificial intelligence was able to correctly predict the subjects’ personality traits just by looking into their eyes.
More research is needed to see if these findings could be replicated in other populations and whether the AI’s ability to predict personality traits is dependent on factors like people’s mood or fatigue, according to the study.

READ MORE: The rise of the robots? by Sergio Romano

about the author
Agata Boxe