Saturday, August 29, 2009

"Robert Roy Britt is an Internet Hoax"

Darn! I'm Just an Internet Hoax!
Robert Roy Britt, Editorial Director

That's what I learned from Personas, a new web ap from MIT that searches the Internet for references to you then spits out a bunch of words that, supposedly, tell you how the Web sees you. Personas flashed a bunch of stuff on the screen faster than I could read it, then displayed a bunch of colors on a bar that, I think, represent the percentage of associations I have with various things.

In terms of reflecting the real me, Personas was way, way off. I assume the algorithm found science news articles I've written, thus associating me with "aggression" (actually I'm a pretty passive guy, never been in a fistfight, and I haven't yet stopped beating my wife a long time ago), "travel" (I wish!), "art" (I can't draw for beans).

Interestingly, no mention of "science" or "space," which have defined my career for the past two decades. Personas did figure out my title and what company I work for. It bests Google on that point. More>>

  • In The Water Cooler, Imaginova's Editorial Director Robert Roy Britt looks at what people are talking about in the world of science and beyond. Find more in the archives and on Twitter.