Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Check Out Your Own Online DNA - Visually

Check out Personas, an interactive, online DNA visualizer.  You enter your own name (or anyone's name for that matter) and watch the system as it categorizes you from online searches.  I've displayed my own DNA above.  The types of attributes it associates with your name are based on the text it finds in the search results.

As you watch Personas analyze the search results you can see that in my case, it doesn't differentiate between me and the other Randy Krums of the world, so our attributes are blended together into one common DNA.

Personas shows you how the Internet sees you.  Upon entering a name, it scours the Internet looking for characterizing statements to use in its analysis.  After suitable information has been found, the viewer watches as the machine tries to make sense of the displayed text.  Once it has reached its final conclusions, the resulting "Personas vector" is displayed and annotated with a minimal legend.
Personas is just one part of the Metropath(ologies) exhibit, now currently on display at the MIT Museum through September 2009 (it needs a new home!).  Metropath(ologies) is a participatory installation about living in a world overflowing with information and non-stop communication, a world in which you are simultaneously the audience and the subject.  It is deliberately ambiguous about the desirability of this communication abundance, riding the line between serene and sinister.
Found on VisualThinkMap.

1 comment:

  1. Neat, but it would be great if you could somehow exclude a specific person who shares a name with you... I happen to share a name with a woman who had a short but prolific career in, ahem, adult features which really affected my online DNA!