Computers Are a Better Judge of Character Than You, Research Suggests

Scientists have created a computer system which exhibits sophisticated pattern recognition.

Computer Recognition

In the competition of computers versus human intelligence, computers take an unmistakable lead.

Scientists have created a computer system which exhibits sophisticated pattern recognition.

It can differentiate genuine emotion from feigned by targeting voluntary and involuntary facial movements such as mouth movements.

This interesting eye-opener was published in the journal Current Biology. Participants watched videos in which some people were in pain while others were faking it.

Artificial Intelligence Emergence Victorious

Computer Recognition

Computers correctly distinguished 85% of the time whereas human participants only had a 50% accuracy rate in recognizing genuine pain from feigned.

"We all know that computers are good at logic processes and they've long out-performed humans on things like playing chess," said Marian Bartlett of the Institute for Neural Computation at the University of California-San Diego, one of the researchers.

How the Study Worked

Computer Recognition

25 volunteers were asked to record two videos.

In the first video, volunteers placed an arm in lukewarm water for one minute. They had to try to fool an expert into thinking they were in pain. In the second video, volunteers actually placed an arm in a bucket of glacial ice water for a minute, an authentically excruciating experience, and were not asked to try and emulate any kind of expression.

The researchers then asked 170 other volunteers to assess which people were in real pain and who was faking it.

After they registered a 50% accuracy rate, which is mere chance, the researchers trained the volunteers to recognize when someone was faking pain. The volunteers managed an accuracy rate of only 55% even after this.

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