15 Seconds

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Which do you like better?

likebetter.com is an interesting toy. It presents you with two photos; you have to choose the one you like better. After a few iterations of this, it guesses things about your personality.

It discovered the following things about me; not all of them are correct but it's still impressive!
  • I'm a guy
  • I'm generally a fearless person
  • I'm a night person
  • My friends would describe me as not very emotional
  • I'm married
  • I live in an urban environment
  • My desk is a complete mess right now
  • I'm not a very religious person
  • I'm not a prankster
  • If I had the choice between a fast car that was unreliable, and a slow car that always runs, I'd choose the reliable car.
  • I'm right-handed.
  • When in a group, I tend to take the lead.
  • I often employ logic in my decision-making.
  • I'm more introverted.
likebetter.com is a classic example of using statistical techniques to give the illusion of deep understanding of very human traits. It's my belief that a lot of the problems in modern media - issues of authenticity, reliability and informaton overload - will need to be managed with complex algorithms working across the whole body of human express. Likebetter.com makes me optimistic that this will be an achievable goal, one day.

It's also a little scary - what does it say about our own humanity - are we merely complex statistical filters?

The other side of likebetter.com lets you test how well you know people, guessing which photos hey would have liked better http://likebetter.com/doyouknow/sminnee.

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