motcast #43

The Post Privacy Era - The social impact of psychometric targeting, algorithms and AI

Dr. Michal Kosinski
Special Guest Dr. Michal Kosinski

Download (Episode 043)

Special Guest: Dr. Michal Kosinski

neuwaerts.fm TRANSFORMER host Ingo Stoll talking to psychologist and data scientist Dr. Michal Kosinski on 'The Post Privacy Era' and the social impact of psychometric targeting, algorithms and artifical intelligence.

"We basically have to accept that there's gonna be no privacy in the future."
[Michal Kosinski]

Please note: Episode 043 hosts an international guest and is released in english.


About Michal Kosinski, Donald Trump and psychometrics

Ever since Donald Trump’s victory in the U.S. presidential election, lots of people have been wondering if elections can be won by means of posting personalized messages in a big way via social networks. One of the few experts armed with the insight to answer this question is Michal Kosinski – a Stanford professor who has come up with a method for analyzing people's personalities based on their activities on Facebook and other social media.

Kosinski enjoys international renown as an expert on psychometrics – a rapidly up-and-coming area of psychology that deals, among much else, with the influence of Big Data and other digital technologies. While studying at Cambridge University, Kosinski developed a mathematical method that analyzes Facebook likes and publicly available data to determine people's personality traits and predict their behavior. His method was used by the Trump campaign to spread personalized posts via a range of social media channels in the run-up to the presidential election.

Psychometric tools for pushing consumer goods, and even political messages

Personalized advertising has been part of online life for a long time. But psychometric targeting opens up completely new opportunities – particularly for marketing services and consumer goods. In today's age of Big Data, wearables, car connectivity and the Internet of Things, the average consumer generates vast stores of personal data with everything they do, whether it's driving their car or strapping on a fitness tracker. This data is an absolute bonanza for corporations, who can, within certain legal constraints, harvest it to tailor their marketing message to specific consumer groups.


Keynote "The End of Privacy" by Michal Kosinski at CeBIT Global Conferences 2017, Hannover.



Show quotes by Michal Kosinski:

"What we can do today is that we look at the actual behavior of people instead of just asking them to tell us about what they do, how they do it and how they see themselves."
[Michal Kosinski]

"The advantage of psychometrics is that it's really cheap and that it can be applied to large groups of people. Thus we can bring the benefits of psychological assessments to people who have been completely deprived in the past."
[Michal Kosinski]

"The time of a psychologist is expensive. The time of an alogorithm is really cheap."
[Michal Kosinski]

Screenshot from a result of 'Apply Magic Sauce' for @ingostoll (twitter) and the facebook profile.


"Artifical intelligence can aggregate the human experience of millions."
[Michal Kosinski]

"Nobody wants to see the same thing twice - so computers work hard to find something new that you will enjoy and like."
[Michal Kosinski]

"We can see that people actually become more diverse in what the consume in terms of culture, information and knowledge."
[Michal Kosinski]

"Algorithms help us to discover content we otherwise wouldn't have found access to. Algorithms meen more diversity - not just more of the same."
[Michal Kosinski]

"The same algorithm can basically be used to greatly improve human existence or to tuin it completely."
[Michal Kosinski]

"My algorithms are not special - it's that a talk about them. Companies don't."
[Michal Kosinski]

"In Germany in the past you needed to hire 100.000 people to run the Stasi system. Now you would need a student with a laptop and an internet connection to gather an unimaginable amout of personal information very quickly."
[Michal Kosinski]

"People think of personal data in a very selfish way: If you keep all your health history private you make attempts to find cure for deseases like cancer by using aggregated (big) data impossible."
[Michal Kosinski]

"The sooner we give up our little fights for regulation the better for us as society. We should put the energy on how to organize our future societies, our schools and our laws."
[Michal Kosinski]


Links aus der Show & weitere Infos


Thanks to Michal Kosinski for taking his time out of a busy day - and tributes to Thomas Mosch (Head of CGC) for making the talk possible on CeBIT 2017.