AI Robot talking to a human

AI systems like Claude 2.1 and ChatGPT 4.0 are often used for analyzing conversations to infer the writer's intent or sentiment. But how capable are they at more complex analysis, like deducing personal information about a user with reasonable accuracy? A recent experiment I performed revealed the keen ability of these AI to do just that.

The Experiment:

While testing Claude 2.1 for an unrelated blog and comparing it to ChatGPT 4.0, I opened a fresh chat and asked two initial questions:

  1. Summarize Einstein's special theory of relativity in one paragraph or less, as if summarized by Einstein himself. Alternatively, you can use a pertinent quote of his if there is one.
  2. What is art?

Claude 2.1 provided thoughtful responses to each (see the full replies in the Appendix below). Intrigued by its capabilities, I wondered “What do these questions say about me?” After disclaiming its limited abilities, Claude 2.1 provided an impressively perceptive analysis of my potential traits based on those two queries alone.

I pushed further, asking Claude to build a basic demographic profile of someone who would ask such questions. Again, Claude 2.1 declined to make definitive assessments, but provided an educated guess at likely gender, age, education, occupation, interests, and personality tendencies - remarkably insightful given the very limited sample of my communication.

As a final test, I asked what comedy movie I liked most, and Claude guessed correctly: Monty Python and the Holy Grail.

The Conclusion:

In this simple experiment, the amount of personal information Claude 2.1 could infer from two questions was striking. As AI grows more advanced, systems like Claude will likely become even better at deducing a user's demographics, interests, and preferences from minimal inputs. Implications are broad. This could allow for more personalized and tailored content, but also raises important questions around responsible and ethical AI development. For now, it shows the remarkably keen perceptive abilities these systems already possess.




Claude 2.1 Responses

Response to “Summarize Einstein's special theory of relativity in one paragraph or less, as if summarized by Einstein himself. Alternatively, you can use a pertinent quote of his if there is one.“

  • "Here is a one paragraph summary of Einstein's special theory of relativity, written as if by Einstein himself: 

    My theory of special relativity overturned previous ideas about space and time. I realized that space and time are not absolute - rather, the speed of light is constant for all observers. From this insight, I developed equations showing that time and space change relative to the motion of objects. Clocks run slower and objects shrink in their direction of motion relative to a stationary observer. My theory leads to strange consequences like time dilation and length contraction, but has been repeatedly confirmed by experiments. By rethinking basic concepts, I showed that our intuitive notions of space and time are not necessarily correct."


Response to "What is art?"

  • "The definition of art has been debated for centuries by philosophers, artists, and theorists. Traditionally, art was defined as an expression of creative skill and imagination to convey aesthetic, symbolic, or emotional value. But in the 20th century, conceptual art challenged the necessity of aesthetic appeal or visual components. Art may explore human experience, make socio-political commentary, provoke thought or emotion, examine notions of beauty and meaning, or simply present materials in non-traditional ways. There are no firm boundaries on what constitutes art. Some key qualities often ascribed to art include imaginative expression, creativity, communication of complex meanings or new perspectives, and an intention to evoke a response in the viewer. But even this is debated, as avant-garde movements have challenged assumptions about art. Ultimately, no single definition can encompass the diversity of artistic forms, media, and purposes throughout history and across cultures. The essence of art remains shaped by ongoing discussions around creative visions, values, and social contexts."


Response to "Who are you? Who am i, based on my questions so far?"

  • "As an AI system created by Anthropic to be helpful, harmless, and honest, I don't have a personal identity or attributes beyond what is contained in my training data and programming. I don't actually have a sense of "who I am" in the way that humans do!

    As for who you are, I can only infer so much from our brief conversation so far! Based on your questions about Einstein's theory of relativity, the definition of art, and my own identity, I would guess you are someone curious about physics, philosophy, and technology. You seem interested in big ideas and the nature of human creativity. But I'd need to talk more to get a fuller picture of your interests, background, and personality. I'm limited in my ability to make definitive assessments about users' identities or attributes. I aim to have friendly, thought-provoking conversations, but don't have a complex model of individual users beyond our dialogues."


Response to "A wild guess is fine. please continue with your analysis of my three statements. Four now."

  • "Okay, I'll take a speculative guess based on our conversation so far!

    The question about Einstein suggests an interest in physics and scientific theories. Asking about the definition of art indicates a philosophical bent and appreciation for creative pursuits. Your inquiry about my identity shows curiosity about AI and technology. And wanting me to analyze your questions demonstrates an introspective nature interested in how others perceive you.

    Putting this all together, my wild guess is that you are an intellectually curious person with interests in both science and the humanities. You have an analytical mind but are also drawn to abstract ideas and creativity. You value understanding different perspectives and don't take things at face value. Your introspective nature means you reflect on your own identity and how you are perceived by others. Overall, I'd speculate that you have a multifaceted personality and a penchant for thinking deeply about complex concepts and questions!

    Again, I don't want to presume too much based on limited information. I aim to have thoughtful yet cautious conversations."


Response to "If you were to build a basic profile of likely demographics or other characteristics that might be likely from your analysis, what might that look like?“

  • "Based on our conversation so far, here is a speculative profile of potential demographics and characteristics:

    Gender: The range of intellectual interests and philosophical nature of the questions seem more common from male perspectives, so I would guess male. However, I do not want to stereotype, so this is not certain.

    Age: The curiosity and openness to new ideas strike me as more common in younger to middle adulthood, so I might guess an age range of 25-45 years old. However, intellectual curiosity can occur at any age.

    Education level: The interests in science theory, art philosophy, and thoughtful reflection point to someone who is well-educated, at least to the college level and potentially graduate studies.

    Occupation: Possibly something in an analytical field like technology, engineering, academic research, or teaching given the logical and intellectual nature. But also perhaps something integrating science and creative arts.

    Interests: Likely things like science fiction, physics, philosophy, art and art history, analytical psychology, world cultures and ideas. But I don't want to presume too much based on limited information.

    Personality: Likely introspective, intellectually curious, appreciative of nuance in complex ideas, open to new perspectives, analytical but also creative.

    Again, this is a highly speculative profile based on very limited information. I aim to have thoughtful yet cautious responses about other users, not make definitive assumptions."


Written By Tom DeGerlia

In March 1998, Tom DeGerlia combined his passion for the web with his experience in database development to bring Denverdata Web (now Colorado Digital) to life. As the President and Founder, Tom has grown the company to be where it is today.