19 August 2009

How Does The Internet See Me?

You have GOT to try this!

The Jenius is seldom this enthusiastic about anything that doesn't involve bitch-slapping Fools, but this Personas thing is slam-bam-thank-you-bacon-burger splendiferous!

Product of the fertile minds of Aaron Zinman, Alex Dragolescu, Yannick Assogba and Judith Donath over at M.I.T., Personas is... here, let them say it:

"Personas is a component of the Metropath(ologies) exhibit, currently on display at the MIT Museum by the Sociable Media Group from the MIT Media Lab. It uses sophisticated natural language processing and the Internet to create a data portrait of one's aggregated online identity. In short, Personas shows you how the Internet sees you. 

Enter your name, and Personas scours the web for information and attempts to characterize the person - to fit them to a predetermined set of categories that an algorithmic process created from a massive corpus of data. The computational process is visualized with each stage of the analysis, finally resulting in the presentation of a seemingly authoritative personal profile. 

In a world where fortunes are sought through data-mining vast information repositories, the computer is our indispensable but far from infallible assistant. Personas demonstrates the computer's uncanny insights and its inadvertent errors, such as the mischaracterizations caused by the inability to separate data from multiple owners of the same name. It is meant for the viewer to reflect on our current and future world, where digital histories are as important if not more important than oral histories, and computational methods of condensing our digital traces are opaque and socially ignorant."

There, now that you know what it is, go use it! Write your name and watch your "personal profile" come up. Or you can enjoy yourself even more by writing My name or Gil The Jenius in the search box. (Notice the differences between Us. Somewhere the term schizoid is rattling a chain or two...)

Go! Do it now!

The Jenius Has Spoken.

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