MIT Media’s Data Portraits & Personas

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How does the web see you?

That is the question that MIT Media wanted to depict visually by “creating a data portrait of one’s aggregated online identity.”

Enter your name, and 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.

In a world where fortunes are sought through data-mining vast information repositories, the computer is our indispensable but far from infallible assistant. 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. It is meant for the viewer to reflect on our current and future world, where digital histories are as important if not more important than oral histories, and computational methods of condensing our digital traces are opaque and socially ignorant.”

Kinda neat, though I am not sure what the portrait (above) actually means.

See also
Persona
http://personas.media.mit.edu

Connections Exhibit
http://web.mit.edu/museum/exhibitions/connections/

MIT Video
http://smg.media.mit.edu/Projects/Metropathologies/metro_finalcut2_web.mov

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Hat tip Flowing Data

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