The design and validation of an artificial personality


ISSN: 0368-492X

Article publication date: 9 August 2011


(2011), "The design and validation of an artificial personality", Kybernetes, Vol. 40 No. 7/8.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

The design and validation of an artificial personality

Article Type: Special issue abstracts From: Kybernetes, Volume 40, Issue 7/8

Faisal L. Kadri, Dollard Des Ormeaux, Canada


Purpose – A US patent was recently granted for an artificial psychology dialog player with two artificial personalities and aging simulation. The purpose of this paper is to expose the usefulness and scientific roots and support the commercial viability of the patent based on a new cybernetic model of personality.

Design/methodology/approach – The design of the artificial personality utilizes a new four-dimensional cybernetic model, where sentences are classified along the dimensions according to their motivational and cognitive content. The model is a dynamic nonlinear system described in box diagram form. The idea behind the model is rooted in the cybernetics concept of requisite variety and the model’s characteristics predict systematic variation with age. The model explains phenomena hitherto found vague. Its predictions regarding age dependence of human behaviour over adult age is tested by online humour appreciation surveys. The methodology is to establish the validity of the model by referencing its a priori predictions against a posteriori empirical classification of survey data by applying statistical consistency tests.

Findings – The prediction was tested using score data from three online humour appreciation surveys. The results from all surveys confirm the prediction and validate the personality model. The model is indeed useful and the statistical consistency tests support the validity of the model. A novel formulation of Maturana’s closed nervous system based on the model with the possibility of empirical validation was also found.

Research limitations/implications – The media of the analysis was only humorous sentences, while the predictions of the model can be applied to other media such as other types of expressions and semiotic symbols, which are outside the scope of this investigation. Only age-related changes were investigated. Personality-related preferences are planned for investigation at a later stage.

Practical implications – A general age link of types of humor was not available until now, the validation of this link brings closer the realization of improvement in man-machine interaction. Other applications include marketing and the use of the model as an educational tool.

Originality/value – The model of personality has a new structure represented as a stable continuous nonlinear system. It employs a feedback mechanism to describe homeostasis (multiplier feedback), a cybernetic regulator that is not based on the familiar negative feedback control structure. Its value as an alternative tool of analysis and prediction cuts across wide disciplines such as psychology, animal behaviour, physical science, computing, engineering and commerce.

Keywords Personality psychology, Artificial psychology, Humour, Nonlinear systems, Cybernetics, Modelling

Paper type Conceptual paper