Volume 1, Issue 4
4th Quarter, 2006

Strategies for Personality Transfer

William Sims Bainbridge

page 12 of 15

4. Concentrate on features that are essential for a given, well-defined goal. In some cases it may be clear that only a portion of the individual’s personality or skill set will be emulated. The classic examples are capturing the expertise of a professional for use in an expert system, or motion capture of the moves of a dancer for use in computer animation of a character. In line with the scenario described in the two previous paragraphs, the goal may be documentation of a clearly defined aspect of personality at a particular stage in a more lengthy process of capture. A person might revisit the personality capture retreat annually, for example, addressing a different aspect of personality each time.  Research might identify a logical sequence of stages, and the capture process could arrange them in a series. Or, the individual could select the personally most salient aspect of personality from a list. Each episode of capture could itself be designed in three parts: (1) preparation, including questionnaires and meditations at home over a period of weeks, (2) marathon, an intensive period in which the person literally exhausts that aspect of his or her personality at the capture center, and (3) consolidation, over following weeks, as additional information is collected, the whole is systematically added to the person’s archive, and the data are backed up at other sites.

5. Conduct personality capture as a byproduct of accomplishing other things. This strategy especially fits situations in which part of the personal capture will take place passively through interaction with an artificial intelligent agent designed to accomplish particular tasks. Examples include research projects by Henry Kautz at the University of Washington and the team of Edmund Durfee and Martha Pollack at the University of Michigan, who are developing wearable computer systems to help individuals plan travel and group activity schedules, based on machine learning of the user’s habitual destinations and activities.[1,2,3]  Jean Scholtz of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has proposed another example, "A personal tutor that understands what a user knows and does not know, provides just-in-time tutoring as needed, adapts to a user’s learning style and knowledge level, and is initiated by either the user or the tutor".[4] This strategy is also indicated when an individual wishes to change some aspect of personality. New forms of psychotherapy could be devised to take advantage of information gained during personality capture. The technology could guide fresh experiences to strengthen weak aspects of the client’s character or to compensate for dysfunctional aspects.

6. Give priority to the qualities that reflect the person’s subjective identity. If a person seeks some form of “immortality” by means of personality capture, then he or she must be guided by his or her conception of self. What you think you are determines what you want to immortalize. Different conceptions of the self not only emphasize different aspects of personality, but they also imply differing degrees of optimism about the feasibility of achieving immortality, and about the most effective technical means. A person with a self-conception that emphasizes values and beliefs, will want to see those values and beliefs survive, as captured by interviews and questionnaires so that they will be available to the living. 

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1. Liao, Lin, Dieter Fox, and Henry Kautz. 2004.  “Learning and Inferring Transportation Routines,” Proceedings of the Nineteenth National Conference on Artificial Intelligence, San Jose, California. (back to top)

2. Patterson, Donald J., Lin Liao, Krzysztof Gajos, Michael Collier, Nik Livic, Katherine Olson, Shiaokai Wang, Dieter Fox, and Henry Kautz. 2004. “Opportunity Knocks: A System to Provide Cognitive Assistance with Transportation Services,” Proceedings of the Sixth International Conference on Ubiquitous Computing, Nottingham, England. (back to top)

3. Estelle, Josh, and Martha E. Pollack. 2006. “Enhancing Social Interaction in Elderly Communities,” Workshop on Designing Technology for People with Cognitive Impairment, Proceedings of the Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI). (back to top)

4. Strawn,George, Sally E. Howe, and Frankie D. King (eds.). 2003. Grand Challenges: Science Engineering and Societal Advances Requiring Networking and Information Technology Research and Development. Arlington, Virginia: National Coordination Office for Information Technology Research and Development. (back to top)

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