May 17: Michal Kosinski, Stanford Univ.

DATE:             Thursday May 17th, 4:10pm

LOCATION:    MSB 1147, Colloquium Room

SPEAKER:      Michal Kosinski, Assistant Professor, Stanford University

TITLE:             “Big Data Assessment: measuring psychological traits using digital footprints”

ABSTRACT:   A growing proportion of human activities such as social interactions, entertainment, shopping, and gathering information, are now mediated by digital devices and services. Such digitally mediated activities can be easily recorded, offering an unprecedented opportunity to study and assess psychological traits using actual―rather than self-reported―behavior. Our research shows that digital records of behavior, such as samples of text, Tweets, Facebook Likes, or web-browsing logs, can be used to accurately measure a wide range of intimate traits. Such Big Data predictions do not require participants’ active involvement; can be easily and inexpensively applied to large populations; and it is relatively immune to misrepresentation. Consequently, it presents an attractive opportunity for advertisers, governments, insurance companies, and recruiters. The use of such models offers great opportunities but might also pose serious risks to privacy or even personal safety.