posted on Aug, 11 2017 @ 08:39 PM
Some of you may be turned off by all the Trump campaign talk near the beginning of the article (given the Trump campaign's close ties to this
particular company), but if that's the case, please skip over the first part and read further down in the article.
You'll come across the technology talk, which is politically agnostic.
According to Zurich’s Das Magazine, which profiled Kosinski in late 2016, “with a mere ten ‘likes’ as input his model could appraise a
person’s character better than an average coworker. With seventy, it could ‘know’ a subject better than a friend; with 150 likes, better than
their parents. With 300 likes, Kosinski’s machine could predict a subject’s behavior better than their partner. With even more likes it could
exceed what a person thinks they know about themselves.”
According to a Guardian investigation, in early 2014, just a few months after Kosinski declined their offer, SCL partnered with Kogan instead. As a
part of their relationship, Kogan paid Amazon Mechanical Turk workers $1 each to take the OCEAN quiz. There was just one catch: To take the quiz,
users were required to provide access to all of their Facebook data. They were told the data would be used for research. The job was reported to
Amazon for violating the platform’s Terms of Service. What many of the Turks likely didn’t realize: According to documents reviewed by The
Guardian, “Kogan also captured the same data for each person’s unwitting friends.” The data gathered from Kogan’s study went on to birth
Cambridge Analytica, which spun out of SCL Elections soon after. The name, metaphorically at least, was a nod to Kogan’s work -- and a dig at
Kosinski. But that early trove of user data was just the beginning -- just the seed Analytica needed to build its own model for analyzing users
personalities without having to rely on the lengthy OCEAN test. After a successful proof of concept and backed by wealthy conservative investors,
Analytica went on a data shopping spree for the ages, snapping up data about your shopping habits, land ownership, where you attend church, what
stores you visit, what magazines you subscribe to -- all of which is for sale from a range of data brokers and third party organizations selling
information about you. Analytica aggregated this data with voter roles, publicly available online data -- including Facebook likes -- and put it all
into its predictive personality model.