How To See If Someone Is A Convicted Felon – “I’m so easily startled”: Meet the professor, and that look on his face means you’re gay
Psychologist Michal Kosinski claims that artificial intelligence can detect your gender and politics just by looking at your face. What if it’s true?
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Vladimir Putin was not there, but he had loyal lieutenants. Last July 14, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev and several members of his cabinet met in an office building on the outskirts of Moscow. Michal Kosinski, a boy psychologist who was flown in from downtown by helicopter, took the stage. “First on the list is Lavrov,” he said a few months later, referring to the Russian foreign minister. – You know, the guy who starts wars and takes over countries. Kosinski, 36, an assistant professor of organizational behavior at Stanford University, was delighted to have the Russian cabinet come together to listen to him. “These guys strike me as one of the most talented and experienced teams,” he told me. “They did their homework. “They read my stuff.”
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Kosinski’s “stuff” includes basic research in technology, mass persuasion, and artificial intelligence (AI). Five years ago, when he was a graduate student at Cambridge University, he showed how even negative Facebook activity can reveal personality — a finding that was later used by the data analytics firm that helped put Donald Trump in the White House. .
This is Kosinski’s favorite of the Russian cabinet. But his audience is interested in his work to detect psychological traits through artificial intelligence. Kosinski published a controversial paper a few weeks after his trip to Moscow, in which he showed how facial analysis algorithms could distinguish between images of gay and straight people. Along with sex, he believes the technology could be used to detect emotions, IQ, and even the propensity to commit certain crimes. Kosinski also used an algorithm to distinguish between Republican and Democrat faces, which he said was successful in an unpublished test — though he acknowledged that the results would change “depending on whether I’m wearing a beard.”
How did this 36-year-old school, which has not yet written a book, attract the attention of the Russian cabinet? During our several meetings in California and London, Kosinski describes himself as a thinker, someone ready to dive into the difficult terrain of artificial intelligence and oversee what other academics cannot. “It makes me angry that we’re missing out on our alone time,” she said. “But it doesn’t change the fact that we’ve already lost our privacy, and we can’t go back without destroying that culture.”
Kosinski says the goal of his research is to highlight the risks. Yet he’s incredibly passionate about some of the technologies that alert us, talking excitedly about cameras that can “find people who are missing, in trouble, trafficked, or in potential danger. “You can imagine having these diagnostic tools to monitor public places that pose a potential threat to you or others.” “There are all kinds of privacy issues with these methods, but they can literally save lives.”
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“Progress always makes people uncomfortable,” Kosinski added. “That’s right. Perhaps, when the first monkeys stopped hanging from the trees and began to walk in the desert, the monkeys in the trees said, “This is strange! It makes us uncomfortable. “It’s the same with any new technology.”
Kosinski analyzed thousands of human faces, but he never made portraits of his models, so we don’t know what features his pale gray eyes or dimple on his chin represent. Describe his personality. He says he is conscientious, secretive and emotional, with an IQ “probably above average”. “I disagree,” he added. What made him? “If you believe in the humanities, it seems, you were born this way.”
His friends describe Kosinski as a brilliant, passionate and irrepressible data scientist with an insatiable (some might say irrational) desire to push the boundaries of his research. “Michael is like a little boy with a hammer,” an academic friend of his told me. “Everything without clarity is like a nail.”
Born in Warsaw in 1982, Kosinski inherited his coding skills from his parents, who were both trained as software engineers. Kosinski and his brother and sister “have computers at home, probably earlier than Westerners of the same age.” In the late 1990s, when Poland’s post-Soviet economy was opening up, Kosinski was recruiting classmates to work for his IT company. The career helped fund her university studies, and in 2008 she enrolled in a PhD program at the University of Cambridge, where she joined the Center for Psychometrics, which specializes in the measurement of psychological factors.
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That’s when he met another graduate student, David Stiwell, who created personality quizzes and shared them with friends on Facebook. The app quickly went viral as hundreds of thousands of people took surveys and scored their results based on the “big five” criteria: openness, conscientiousness, adaptability, adaptability and neuroticism. When users complete the MyPersonality test, some of which measure IQ and health, they are given the opportunity to contribute their results to scientific research.
Kosinski came on board to use his digital skills to clean, present and organize the data and present it to other academics. In 2012, more than 6 million people participated in the trial – about 40% contributed their data, creating the largest database of its kind.
In May, the journal New Scientist revealed that the dataset’s username and password were accidentally left on GitHub, a widely used code-sharing site. Within four years, anyone, not just authorized researchers, will have access to the data. Before reviewing this magazine, Kosinski admitted to me that there was danger in their view of freedom. “We have not disclosed this information, and we have assured the scientists that they are not using it for commercial reasons,” he said. “But you can’t be sure it won’t happen.” He also said that much of Facebook’s data was “inexplicable.” After the “New Scientist” story, Stevel closed the MyPersonality project. Kosinski sent me a link to the notice, in which he complained: “Twitter warriors and writers who want to be angry shut David out of my personal plans.”
At the time MyPersonalitydata was accessed, approximately 280 researchers had published more than 100 scientific articles using it. The most cited is a 2013 study co-authored by Kosinski, Stewell, and another researcher that examined the relationship between Facebook “likes” and the psychological and demographic characteristics of 58,000 people. Some of the results were correct: the best guess for presentation, for example, was the popularity of pages such as “Video Games”, “Voltaire”. Some of the findings were puzzling: Among the predictors of high IQ were Facebook page likes for “Dunderstorms” and “The Voice of Morgan Freeman.” People who liked the pages of “iPod” and “Gorillaz” may not be satisfied with life.
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If the algorithm is given enough data about Facebook likes, Kosinski and his colleagues found, it can make more accurate predictions based on personality than tests of real friends. In another study, Kosinski et al showed how Facebook’s data can be turned into “an effective method for digital mass persuasion.”
Their research caught the attention of SCL Group, Cambridge Analytica’s parent company. In 2014, SCL was still trying to sign up Stwell and Kosinski and offered to buy my personal data and their predictive models. At the end of the conversation, they relied on the help of another academic from the Cambridge Department of Psychology – Assistant Professor Alexander Kogan. Using his personal Facebook questionnaire and paying users (with SCL money) to participate in the experiment, Kogan collected data from 320,000 Americans. Allows developers to collect data from Facebook app users’ friends. , Kogan was able to collect additional data on approximately 87 million people.
Cambridge Analyst spokesman Christopher Willey said the company sought to replicate Kosinski’s work through “psychological warfare.” Photo: Getty Images
Christopher Willey, the whistleblower who lifted the lid on Cambridge Analytica’s operations earlier this year, decided to “multiply” the work done by Kosinski and his colleagues, turning it into a “psychological warfare” tool. “It’s not my fault,” Kosinski told reporters at the Swiss publication Das Magazine, which first linked his work to Cambridge Analytica. “I didn’t make a bomb. I have shown its existence.’
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Cambridge Analytica has long denied that it used Facebook-based psychological targeting during the Trump campaign, but its data-harvesting scandal forced the company to shut down. The saga also proved devastating for Facebook, whose headquarters are four miles from Kosinski’s property.
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