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3 Ways Technology is Helping Us To “Read” People

July 20, 2011

In a recent article in the Vancouver Province scientists have announced new facialrecognition technology that they say will take away the guesswork of how to communicate effectively with others.

This got me to thinking that this technology would challenge the assumption that the younger generations lack the same face to face social skills of their Gen X and Zoomer counterparts. In fact technology is simplifying something that had to be developed as a skill for the 1980′s to the 2000′s but not necessarily for the future.


Imagine a future where technology helps us make faster, well informed decisions and the chances of being ‘duped’ by someone are greatly diminished.

There are 3 Ways technology is helping us ‘read’ people:


  1. If you are a gamer or your Gen Y or millenial is a gamer then it is likely that you have heard of the new game LA Noir. This game is groundbreaking in that it uses ‘avatar’ type technology where you can ‘become’ the detective, investigate the case, find clues and interpret the emotions of the bad guys to see if they are being truthful or not. Avatar training is right around the corner and a few progressive companies already have it in place. This allows all staff to learn a lot of social skill training through technology. Forget role plays in the classroom, we will all be ‘gaming’ and role playing on line.
  2. As mentioned at the beginning of this article facial recognition technology is allowing industries to define the myriads of human emotions and a computer is sorting out whether that person is feeling happy, sad or even having bad thoughts. Think of the implications for border security, policing and store theft. Of course we as humans will still have to balance our ‘gut’ instincts with the pure data that we will be able to access.
  3. Many companies have been using personality assessments. More and more companies are using personality assessments with finer personality details to ensure they are hiring right for the company. Tests like Myers Briggs, DISC and others do a fairly good job of analyzing character traits and providing an accurate description of personality.

These tests are going high tech with applicants inputting data on an IPad or data device and the results being interpreted and sent to the hiring manager in record time.

Fairly soon our ability to interpret personality and character is going to be highly supported by technology. Perhaps ‘social skills’ training can be done using technology AND face to face. One thing is for sure- we will likely be a lot more accurate in our assessments with a combination of both.

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