Google's help page on this makes authorship role in that very obvious:
Authorship markup helps our algorithms to find and present relevant authors and experts in Google search results.
I wanna say "Yay!" But so far it doesn't seem easy to qualify your article to be indepth: you have to help Google with a bunch of addional markup which seems a nightmare and also makes it obvious that Google hasn't grown up enough to figure things out on their own (yet another competitive advantage to geeky SEOs!).
We'll see how it goes!