Development Strategist, The University of Cambridge Psychometrics Centre (United Kingdom)
As Development Strategist for the University of Cambridge Psychometrics Centre, one of the world’s leading online behaviour labs, Vess uses Big Social Data to accurately predict psychological traits from digital footprints of human behaviour. He is responsible for the commercialisation of cutting-edge research tools and for facilitating their ethical implementation by businesses and policymakers for the benefit of citizens. The Centre has pioneered the application of Big Data Psychology in a wide array of contexts, from HR, marketing and dating to education, entrepreneurship and health. Much of its recent work has built upon the insights derived from myPersonality, the largest social science database in history, which comprises validated psychometric data and social media records from over 6 million individuals. Vess also coordinates the Apply Magic Sauce API project, a battery of trait prediction algorithms based on this data that have been proven to beat humans at their own game – this technology predict personality and other intimate attributes more accurately than one’s friends and family members, using digital records of motivation and preference, such as an individual’s Facebook Likes. Vess will present the Centre’s academic research in a commercial context and discuss the strengths and limitations of using psychometrics to interpret Big Data on human behaviour.