Researchers at Cambridge University recently published a study that shows that by aggregating all your Likes on Facebook, an automated algorithm can describe you fairly accurately. Personal traits that can be determined include “race, age, IQ, sexuality, personality, substance use and political views.” And this is just from data that is publicly available. The study involved 58,000 US Facebook volunteers,and the personality profile created by the study algorithm was 88% accurate.
And it’s not just Facebook. For a look at who else is collecting data, read this article from Forbes. One of the most interesting things I learned there was about call centers who used automated voice/personality analysis to determine how to best serve you.
As Marshall McLuhan predicted in his 1964 book, Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man book, the medium has become the message.