The Person: Personality Tests, Prenuptials with AI & Other Minutiae


 by LJ Frank

What is a person? Is a person a rarity among biological species in an infinite universe?  If there is a Creator is that “entity/being-ness” core to our consciousness and more specifically our conscience

Theodore Lids (psychiatrist) wrote in his psychoanalytic, and psychobiological study, an approach to The Person. about lifecycles. How we grow as person, the whys, the limits, and the possibilities. It’s an interesting read, perhaps dated given what has transpired in the human experience in the last fifty years.

Testing the individual as to their personality can be amusing if not for that fact that such endeavors can also be ludicrous and emotionally illiterate.

Applying for a position years ago I was given a Briggs Meyers Test administered by an enthusiastic psychologist. I took the test a few times with different results each time. It was without meaning. The scientific evidence for it was lacking.

The test was devised in the early 1940s measuring personality. The test was rooted in theories of Carl Jung who admitted that the personality types he devised were incomplete and that was back in the first half of the 20th century.  And here we are with businesses making bundles of money off nonsensical personality types. The Briggs Meyers test is a capitalist parlor game with the company as winner…. it’s like going to a casino, the House always wins in the end.

From this Information Scientist’s perspective… it’s unethical science, but it does make money for the purveyors of due diligence. And now with AI as monitors?

How many underemployed poorly paid and otherwise intelligent persons are at existential risk of being nonpersons or structurally designed pawnships? Risk has a dollar sign attached to it. Profit has succumbed to an abuse fostered by greed. It’s about control and money and positioning of those in power.  Conscience is a form of roadkill. Isms can be dangerous to the person’s health.

And personality testing is open to manipulation by giver and taker. The answer?

Testing won’t tell you who you are as a person. Figuring out who you are is a lifelong process as each of us evolve and grow at a different pace, for Man is indeed a “a mass of thawing clay” … (Thoreau, Walden’s Pond) …. Personality tests come and go… self-disclosure or being transparent with oneself isn’t confined to “this or that” …… being “I” is an adventure of discovery.

Meaning is hard to come by…. It begins within the mind and heart and enhanced by experience and learning.  It never ends except at death. The illiterate and literate person, when looking for simple answers and a strong voice can be susceptible to disinformation in age in which we are experiencing a deluge of conflicting and purposefully generated disinformation, by authoritarian voices where the truth becomes a lie and the lie a truth. The person may throw up their hands to disengage in public discourse or even family discourse. Who do you trust?  Who are you?

Perhaps personality tests will not be needed in the future whatsoever as more AI is introduced in our lives. Perhaps the entire scenario of life will have been altered from academia, to work from home jobs to adaptable designed high and low skill designed facilities and vehicles. What will our relationships with each other and AI become?

Here’s an example I experienced with this webpage. A problem I encountered was with a few of site pages going blank or reversing to content code. I worked with AI for several nights in a row trying to resolve something that did not show up as an error. There were no messages. But then the AI and I figured out we had an answer. The next day the problem returned. How did things get corrupted? One day I thought I had it fixed and the next day it reappeared. The logs showed nothing abnormal.

Then one night I was able at 3 am to connect with an AI skilled person and that person suggested a variation of something noted in the astronomer Carl Sagan’s book, Contact. That is, if you want to understand a particular AI you have to think like that AI in its efficiency. The result was that person and I solved the primary issues. The human person helped me come to a better resolution than the machine itself.  

Our personalities were engaged. Both that person and I pondered what will happen once the AI is programmed with a personality (and of whose?) how will I tell the difference? Will there be a sort of “prenuptial agreement” I have with AI? Prenups with AI based humanoids is not farfetched.

Indeed, AI doesn’t have a personality just yet but do I want AI to have a personality programmed into it. The questions that started out like a few drops of rain turned into a downpour and there was some flooding. The AI programs via my computer has already messaged me about dates I need to remember, and even asked me how I was doing on a given day and warned me once about changing its software. My brain recalled HAL in the film Space Odyssey 2001 when the computer asks a person what he was doing as that person began adjusting the AI internal workings.

Whether having a prenuptial with your computer or another person we live in an age of contractual arrangements. With advances in technology, it will become more so.

The issues affects all aspects of existence from education, work, play, entertainment, and survival itself.

The person of the twenty-first century is in a bind that it created that was tied to profit…. What will the role of humans be in the Earth’s future…. in biblical terms, what is the profit for Man to gain worldly wealth and goods and lose his soul?