Precire Technologies, a company based in Aachen, Germany, specializes in analyzing spoken and written language. It has developed an automated job interview: job seekers speak with a computer by telephone, which then creates a detailed psychogram based on their responses. Among other things, Precire analyzes word selection and certain word combinations, sentence structures, dialectal influences, errors, filler words, pronunciations and intonations.
Its algorithm is based on data from more than 5, interviews with individuals whose personalities were analyzed. Software that analyzes faces for clues to mood, personality or other psychological features is being explored as well. It highlights both what is possible and what to fear.
In early four programmers at a hacker conference, nwHacks, introduced an app that discerns mood by analyzing face-tracking data captured from the front camera of the iPhone X. Studies have shown that people tend to loosen their purse strings when they are in a good mood; advertisers might want to push ads to your phone when you are feeling particularly up.
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Astonishingly, Loki took just 24 hours to build. In making it, the developers relied on machine learning, a common approach to automated image recognition. They first trained the program with about facial expressions, labeling the emotions that corresponded to each expression. Kosinski, too, has examined whether automated image-recognition technology can surreptitiously discern psychological traits from digital activity. In an experiment published in , he and his Stanford colleague Yilun Wang fed hundreds of thousands of photographs from a dating portal into a computer, along with information on whether the person in question was gay or straight.
They then presented the software with pairs of unknown faces: one of a homosexual person and another of a heterosexual individual of the same sex. The program correctly distinguished the sexual orientation of men 81 percent of the time and of women 71 percent of the time; human beings were much less accurate in their assessments. Given that gay people continue to fear for their lives in many parts of the world, it is perhaps not surprising that the results elicited negative reactions.
Indeed, Kosinski got death threats. In late computer scientists at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich demonstrated that the personalities of Facebook users can be pinned down more precisely if their likes are coupled with analyses of their profile photograph. They are in the dark because machine-learning programs do not reveal the rules they apply in drawing conclusions. The investigators know that the software finds correlations between features in the data and personality but not exactly how it concludes that a man in a photograph is attracted to other men or which characteristics in my e-mail might indicate that I am conscientious and somewhat introverted.
The use of facial-recognition technology for analyzing psychology is not merely an object of research.
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It has been adopted by several commercial enterprises. Israeli company Faception, for example, says it can recognize whether a person has a high IQ or pedophilic tendencies or is a potential terrorist threat. Even if a correlation is found with a trait, experts have their doubts about the usefulness of such analyses.
It simply is not possible to identify with certainty whether a person is Mensa material. It could easily guess wrong four times out of With some applications, incorrect predictions are tolerable. Who cares if Apply Magic Sauce comes to comically erroneous conclusions? But the effect can be devastating in other circumstances. Notably, when the characteristic being analyzed is uncommon, more errors are likely to be made. Of course, automatic psychological assessments can be used to help people live better.
McStay, Creativity and Advertising: Affect, Events and Process, 1e
Suicide-prevention efforts are emblematic. Facebook has such an initiative. The company had noticed that users on its platform occasionally announce there that they intend to kill themselves. Some have even live streamed their death. If a trained reviewer determines that a person is at risk, the person is shown support options.
Twitter posts might likewise be worth analyzing, according to Glen Coppersmith, a researcher at Qntfy, a company based in Arlington, Va. Coppersmith has noted that Twitter messages sometimes contain strong evidence of suicide risk and has argued that their use for screening should be seriously considered. Taking a different tack, University Hospital Carl Gustav Carus in Dresden is using smartphones to measure behavioral changes, looking for those characteristic of severe depression.
Even designers of algorithms that are created with good intentions must balance the potential for good against the risk of privacy invasion. Samaritans, a nonprofit organization that aims to help people at risk of suicide in the U. But Samaritans did not obtain the consent of the people whose Tweets were being collected. Criticism of the app was overwhelming. Nine days after the program started, Samaritans shut it down. The Dresden hospital has not made the same mistake: it obtains permission from participants before it monitors their smartphone use.
Automated psychological assessments are becoming a part of the digital landscape. Whether they will ultimately be used mainly for good or ill remains to be seen. If Jan Smith a pseudonym were to spend the morning in bed and miss a class, his absence would definitely sound an alarm. This is because the year-old student has a virtual companion that is pretty well informed about the details of his daily life—when he goes for a walk and where, how often he calls his friends, how long he stays on the phone, and so on. It knows that he sent four WhatsApp messages and two e-mails late last night, one of which contained more than 2, keystrokes.
Smith suffers from bipolar disorder, a mental illness in which mood and behavior constantly swing between two extremes. Some weeks he feels so depressed that he can hardly get out of bed or manage the basic tasks of everyday life. Then there are phases during which he is so euphoric and full of energy that he completes projects without seeming to need sleep.
Smith installed a program on his smartphone that records all his activities, including not only phone calls but also his GPS and pedometer readings and when he uses which apps. This information transfers to a server at regular intervals. The goal of the project, known as Bipolife, is to improve the diagnosis and treatment of bipolar disorders.
Researchers intend to monitor the smartphones of patients for two years. Such data should be useful because bipolar patients are often unaware when they are about to have a depressive or manic episode. It never occurred to me that this might not be normal. Everyone I knew envied my energy and commitment.
The smartphone app is meant to send up warning flares. For example, it recognizes when a participant makes significantly fewer phone calls or suddenly stops leaving the house—or works around the clock, neglecting sleep. Then the psychiatrist gets in touch with the patient. The researchers first have to get a baseline, determining, for example, how particular patients use their cell phones during asymptomatic phases. Wu Youyou et al.
Matz et al. To get started, register as an instructor to set up your course and adopt this or another title, try out a live demo , or contact us for more information about adopting Perusall in your course. Creativity and Advertising develops novel ways to theorise advertising and creativity.
Drawing on a diverse set of philosophical influences including Scotus, Spinoza, Vico, Kant, Schiller, James, Dewey, Schopenhauer, Whitehead, Bataille, Heidegger and Deleuze, the book posits a sensational, process-based, transgressive, lived and embodied approach to thinking about media, aesthetics, creativity and our interaction with advertising. Elaborating an affective account of creativity, McStay assesses creative advertising from Coke, Evian, Google, Sony, Uniqlo and Volkswagen among others, and articulates the ways in which award-winning creative advertising may increasingly be read in terms of co-production, playfulness, ecological conceptions of media, improvisation, and immersion in fields and processes of corporeal affect.
Philosophically wide-ranging yet grounded in robust understanding of industry practices, the book will also be of use to scholars with an interest in aesthetics, art, design, media, performance, philosophy and those with a general interest in creativity.
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