The Metropath(ologies) exhibit at the MIT Museum is an art installation about living in a world that happens to be over-supplied with information. Personas is a component of that exhibit, using some high tech jiggery pokery and the Internet to track your Web persona.
The process couldn’t be simpler – go to the Personas site, type in your name (first and last name, please) and after some number-crunching, it will spit out a data portrait, letting you see you the way the Internet sees you.
Personas scours the web for information and attempts to characterize the person – to fit them to a predetermined set of categories that an algorithmic process created from a massive corpus of data. The computational process is visualized with each stage of the analysis, finally resulting in the presentation of a seemingly authoritative personal profile.
Personas demonstrates the computer’s uncanny insights and its inadvertent errors, such as the mischaracterizations caused by the inability to separate data from multiple owners of the same name.
Here’s the data portrait for onelargeprawn. Click to embiggen.
I’m glad there’s no reference to occasional drug abuse (I didn’t inhale), but I’m slightly concerned about where all that aggression is coming from…I bet it’s my doppleganger, I call him Klaus. Say hello Klaus. Hello.
Get your own data portraits at Personas. And let us know how if you find anything interesting.
Data portraits of Jacob Zuma, DJ Fresh, and Megan Fox are after the jump.