One of IBM Watson’s many talents is analysing personality traits by looking at written text.
The supercomputer assesses traits based on the popular Big Five test, which rates subjects for extroversion, agreeableness, conscientiousness, neuroticism, and openness to experience. It can also identify different tones such as fear, joy, confidence, and openness. These skills have been used to do everything from assist customer service agents in analysing how their phone calls went to providing dating tips.
We tested out Watson last week on the “Harry Potter” universe and were wowed by its conclusions.
This week, we worked with IBM researcher Vinith Misra to analyse the “Star Wars” original trilogy screenplays. (Because let’s be honest, the rest don’t count.) Keep reading to see the findings.
'If you look at neuroticism you see something really interesting -- the Jedi characters are the least neurotic,' Misra told Tech Insider. 'Yoda is one of the least neurotic characters. Even Vader isn't that neurotic.'
That's right, don't forget Vader was a Jedi first before he became a Sith Lord.
We're not surprised at all that Watson picked up that C-3PO was the most neurotic with his endless worrying throughout all of the films. But what is interesting is that Han actually ranked third in neuroticism, right behind Luke.
Han definitely gives off a cool exterior, but considering he's been in quite a few binds (being a carbonite fridge must be stressful) it does make some sense.
'It's Jedi stereotypes that come up here -- the zen-like equanimity,' Misra explained. 'You're gonna be less friendly and open.'
This pretty much nails Luke's character on the head. He holds a lot of anger and resentment toward the Empire. (That's what happens when your evil father abandons you and storm troopers destroy your home on Tatooine, we suppose).
And as a result, he has a very strong sense of what is right and wrong and what he needs to accomplish to make a difference.
Still, the sense of duty and anger clearly has a toll on Luke, as he also ranks high on anxiety and depression.
Han and Leia ranked the highest for friendliness at spots one and two, respectfully. Maybe that's why they're such a good couple!
The two also rank similarly high when it comes to trust.
'That makes sense, they get along with a lot of people,' Misra said, adding 'Han is full of optimism and can-do -- he's definitely the American character of the film.'
'Personality insights is very good at reading between the lines,' Misra said. 'It's able to pick out things not readily obvious by what a character does in the plot but more of what they say and the way they phrase it.'
'Harrison Ford's performance is full of swagger and there's no self consciousness... (and) that masks a lot of the stuff in the dialogue,' he continued.
Han also ranked high when it came to depression, anxiety, and neuroticism.
Yoda 'is like a stuffed animal and seems agreeable, but if you look at dialogue... he's kind of a jerk.'
Yoda ranked second to last when it came to agreeableness, just above the Emperor, which isn't exactly a ringing endorsement. He also ranked last in exhibiting sympathy.
To be fair, you could say Yoda has to be tough to get his sage lessons across. He can't be both teacher and friend.
Yoda and Vader both have rank low when it comes to vulnerability, friendliness, and agreeableness. But they also rank high on intellect.
Watson's assessment actually pinpoints just how thin the line between good and evil is. Vader too started out as a powerful Jedi, so it makes sense he would share traits with the Jedi master. It's simply a matter of how Yoda and Vader use their powers.
The rebels ranked the highest for achievement-striving, but the Empire ranked highest for self-discipline.
Misra included the radio chatter going on in the Death Star to analyse the 'personality' of the empire. Watson found the empire was first for self-discipline and second on the conscientiousness scale, right behind Darth Vader. It also ranked last for emotionality.
Considering the Empire is relentless in achieving its goals and unemotional about the destruction it causes, Watson captured the essence of the Empire very well.
And interestingly enough, the rebels take the complete opposite approach to achieving their goals. The rebels rank first in achievement-striving and activity and second in excitement seeking.
So while the Empire takes an emotionless and intense approach to its work, the rebels have a high-energy and bold approach.
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