“Cornelius Norbertus Gijsbrechts – Trompe l’oeil. Board Partition with Letter Rack and Music Book – Google Art Project” by Cornelis Norbertus Gysbrechts (fl. 1660–1683) – bgFy0xrdWs8s6w at Google Cultural Institute, zoom level maximum. Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons
IBM’s Watson and similar technology will soon change how we communicate with computers. Every day we have some type of interaction with a computer, expressing itself in a way that we can distinguish, for the most part, as not being human. Technology is advancing. Except, it’s not in a place where we would not be able to distinguish a computer from a human. If you use Apple’s Siri service, you see its limitations. A computer can beat us in Chess, Jeopardy, clean the floors of a house and remind us of our meetings. Some computers, with the guidance of professionals, can perform high-levels of of surgery. This is all good. The world’s challenge is to harness the power of technology to answer questions of complexity and individuality. How could that improve our own lives? Can we create a machine that can act as a compassionate companion to Older Americans, for example? Can technology provide the underprivileged with tools to improve their lives? What can it do to improve the developing world and the world that we currently live in?
As developers continue to test it’s abilities to receive information and output information in a way that is relevant to the user, IBM is showcasing it’s ability with the Personality Insight’s page. According to the site,
The IBM Watson Personality Insights service uses linguistic analytics to extract a spectrum of cognitive and social characteristics from the text data that a person generates through blogs, tweets, forum posts, and more.
If a computer can learn personalities, then it can know when we’re asking a question with a certain level of emotional gravity. It can know how to best ‘say’ information in a way that respects the person asking it. One day, we may be left wondering after an important conversation ends, “Was I just speaking to a human then?”
So, how good is Watson’s personality insights? I decided to put through a few works of literature to see what it gives us. If you like the excerpts, click on a link to see what we have in our collection for you to borrow. After the jump:
On journeys through the States we start, (Ay through the world, urged by these songs, Sailing henceforth to every land, to every sea,) We willing learners of all, teachers of all, and lovers of all. We have watch'd the seasons dispensing themselves and passing on, And have said, Why should not a man or woman do as much as the seasons, and effuse as much? We dwell a while in every city and town, We pass through Kanada, the North-east, the vast valley of the Mississippi, and the Southern States, We confer on equal terms with each of the States, We make trial of ourselves and invite men and women to hear, We say to ourselves, Remember, fear not, be candid, promulge the body and the soul, Dwell a while and pass on, be copious, temperate, chaste, magnetic, And what you effuse may then return as the seasons return, And may be just as much as the seasons.
You are heartfelt, confident and active.
You are proud: you hold yourself in high regard, satisfied with who you are. You are confident: you are hard to embarrass and are self-confident most of the time. And you are self-controlled: you have control over your desires, which are not particularly intense.
Your choices are driven by a desire for prestige.
You consider both independence and helping others to guide a large part of what you do. You like to set your own goals to decide how to best achieve them. And you think it is important to take care of the people around you.
The second and the third day passed, and still my tormentor came not. Once again I breathed as a freeman. The monster, in terror, had fled the premises forever! I should behold it no more! My happiness was supreme! The guilt of my dark deed disturbed me but little. Some few inquiries had been made, but these had been readily answered. Even a search had been instituted—but of course nothing was to be discovered. I looked upon my future felicity as secured.
You are shrewd, skeptical and guarded.
You are empathetic: you feel what others feel and are compassionate towards them. You are independent: you have a strong desire to have time to yourself. And you are laid-back: you appreciate a relaxed pace in life.
Your choices are driven by a desire for well-being.
You are relatively unconcerned with achieving success: you make decisions with little regard for how they show off your talents. You consider helping others to guide a large part of what you do: you think it is important to take care of the people around you.
Why, man, he doth bestride the narrow world
Like a Colossus, and we petty men
Walk under his huge legs and peep about
To find ourselves dishonourable graves.
Men at some time are masters of their fates:
The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars,
But in ourselves, that we are underlings.
Brutus and Caesar: what should be in that ‘Caesar’?
Why should that name be sounded more than yours?
Write them together, yours is as fair a name;
Sound them, it doth become the mouth as well;
Weigh them, it is as heavy; conjure with ’em,
Brutus will start a spirit as soon as Caesar.
Now, in the names of all the gods at once,
Upon what meat doth this our Caesar feed,
That he is grown so great? Age, thou art shamed!
Rome, thou hast lost the breed of noble bloods!
When went there by an age, since the great flood,
But it was famed with more than with one man?
When could they say till now, that talk’d of Rome,
That her wide walls encompass’d but one man?
Now is it Rome indeed and room enough,
When there is in it but one only man.
O, you and I have heard our fathers say,
There was a Brutus once that would have brook’d
The eternal devil to keep his state in Rome
As easily as a king.
You are boisterous, unpretentious and genial.
You are confident: you are hard to embarrass and are self-confident most of the time. You are laid-back: you appreciate a relaxed pace in life. And you are content: you are content with your level of accomplishment and do not feel the need to set ambitious goals.
Your choices are driven by a desire for well-being.
You consider helping others to guide a large part of what you do: you think it is important to take care of the people around you. You are relatively unconcerned with tradition: you care more about making your own path than following what others have done.
I am glad you are no relation of mine: I will never call you aunt again as long as I live. I will never come to see you when I am grown up; and if any one asks me how I liked you, and how you treated me, I will say the very thought of you makes me sick, and that you treated me with miserable cruelty — because it is the TRUTH. You think I have no feelings, and that I can do without one bit of love or kindness; but I cannot live so: and you have no pity. I shall remember how you thrust me back — roughly and violently thrust me back — into the red-room, and locked me up there, to my dying day; though I was in agony; though I cried out, while suffocating with distress, “Have mercy! Have mercy, Aunt Reed!” And that punishment you made me suffer because your wicked boy struck me — knocked me down for nothing. I will tell anybody who asks me questions, this exact tale. People think you a good woman, but you are bad, hard-hearted. You are deceitful! You told Mr. Brocklehurst I had a bad character, a deceitful disposition; and I’ll let everybody at Lowood know what you are, and what you have done. Send me to school soon, Mrs. Reed, for I hate to live here.
You are explosive, somewhat compulsive and can be perceived as shortsighted.
You are excitement-seeking: you are excited by taking risks and feel bored without lots of action going on. You are susceptible to stress: you are easily overwhelmed in stressful situations. And you are emotionally aware: you are aware of your feelings and how to express them.
Your choices are driven by a desire for modernity.
You consider helping others to guide a large part of what you do: you think it is important to take care of the people around you. You are relatively unconcerned with achieving success: you make decisions with little regard for how they show off your talents.