Whether you’re chatting to an Amazon chatbot or asking Siri about the weather, AI has stepped out of ‘science fiction’ and into ‘science fact’ incredibly quickly over the last 10 years. A recent study found that 80% of new and emerging technologies have AI as their foundation, and a massive 40% of businesses invest in the tech as their top priority, especially when it comes to interacting with the public. One of the biggest debates about AI though is whether or not it should have a personality. Is that making it too human — a step too far? Or is it simply helping us to accept AI into our lives?
What are the personality types?
The Myers-Briggs personality test is a psychological indicator based on theories by Carl Jung. There are 16 different personality types — some are very outgoing and others more introspective. When considering AI, ask yourself what kind of person you would like to talk to on the telephone if you were buying a product. Would you rather they were an introvert or an extrovert?
On the Myers-Briggs personality scale, the INFJ personality is one of the rarest personality types, standing for Introverted, Intuitive, Feeling, and Judging. These are often emotional and sensitive souls that look inwards. It’s probably not the sort of personality attributes you want to allocate to AI, which are most often utilized for sales purposes. By contrast, the ESTP personality type, also known as “the persuader,” is Extroverted, Sensing, Thinking, and Perceiving. They are logical, forthright, and extremely good at decision making. These attributes sound a lot more positive when it comes to sales and marketing.
Personality type is important
Successful AI is a delicate balance between providing flawless service and connecting with the consumer. Being able to secure complete trust is paramount — we need to believe that the AI will do as good a job, if not better than it’s human counterpart. An extroverted personality type is part of that. They must, however, not be brash or overbearing, which can prove to be a difficult balance to achieve.
What about mainstream AI?
When considering the AI for your own company, it is worth taking a look at the personality attributes for Siri and Alexa. Siri is an ESTJ – Extroverted, Sensing, Thinking, and Judging. He is carefully designed to give the user confidence, but without undermining their own knowledge. He has a sense of humor too, but in a silly, “Dad joke” way. Siri is definitely an authority figure that generally inspires trust. Alexa is an ESFJ: Extroverted, Sensing, Feeling, and Judging. She is supportive, warmhearted, and encourages us to try new things. Siri and Alexa’s personalities are a key part of their design and without this, they wouldn’t be so popular.
The advancement in AI technology means that often it is difficult to differentiate whether we are talking to a human or a computer program. Having a personality is key to this — it is why AI has successfully crossed over into our homes.
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