The Internet Says I'm Unhappy

The other night Giovanni asked if I’d tried the “Apply Magic Sauce” web application. I’d never heard of it but the site’s description of it—“a personalization engine that accurately predicts psychological traits from digital footprints of human behavior’’—appealed to the geek in me. I promptly granted the application access to my Facebook profile and crossed my fingers that it would tell me something good about myself.

Developed by researchers at the University of Cambridge Psychometrics Centre, the Apply Magic Sauce application analyzes Facebook and/or Twitter activity (likes and retweets, for example), or a personal writing sample, to deduce all kinds of things about the user (gender, religious affiliation, political leaning, sexual orientation, intelligence, and life satisfaction level). And I was impressed at the accuracy . . . for the most part.

But Apply Magic Sauce is not just a silly thing. It’s a University of Cambridge Psychometrics Centre project, guaranteed to be

Of course, according to the magic sauce formula, Giovanni is 100 percent smart and massively satisfied with his life. And I’m happy for him (I really am!).

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