Russian researchers from HSE University and Open University for the Humanities and Economics have demonstrated that artificial intelligence is able to infer people’s personality from ‘selfie’ photographs better than human raters do.
Conscientiousness emerged to be more easily recognizable than the other four traits. Personality predictions based on female faces appeared to be more reliable than those for male faces. The technology can be used to find the ‘best matches’ in customer service, dating or online tutoring.
The article ‘Assessing the Big Five personality traits using real-life static facial images’ will be published on May 22 in Scientific Reports.
Physiognomists from Ancient Greece to Cesare Lombroso have tried to link facial appearance to personality, but the majority of their ideas failed to withstand the scrutiny by modern science. The few established associations of specific facial features, such as facial width-to-height ratio, with personality traits are quite weak.
Studies asking human raters to make personality judgments based on photographs have produced inconsistent results, suggesting that our judgments are too unreliable to be of any practical importance.