A computer can be better at assessing your personality than friends or family – and almost as good as your spouse, scientists have found.

A study of more than 86,000 users of Facebook has demonstrated the power of intelligent machines to predict an individual’s character based on what they have listed as their “likes”.

Researchers said the day when computers are able to judge a person’s personality accurately has almost arrived, and even suggested that science fiction films like Her, based on a man’s attachment to an intelligent computer, are closer than we think.

In the Cambridge University study, scientists used machine-learning software that analysed Facebook “likes” to assess a person’s personality based on the five main traits commonly used in psychological assessments: openness, conscientiousness, extraversion, agreeableness and neuroticism.

The more “likes” the computer could include in its assessment, the more accurate it became in forming a prediction of a person’s overall character and personality, said David Stillwell, who developed the personality test.

More: Does anyone actually like Facebook messenger?More: Computer-based personality judgments are more accurate than those made by humans

Please log in or register to upvote this article
The Conversation (0)