“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: