Uber files patent on AI tech to detect drunk passengers

Uber has filed to patent a piece of artificial intelligence technology that is capable of automatically detecting whether a passenger is inebriated, giving drivers more information on their impending fare.

Uber filed a patent in 2016 for AI tech that’s capable of detecting drunk passengers

The technology is intended to give drivers more information on the potential state of their impending fare, but it’s also been criticised for its potential to give drivers the justification to refuse a fare, possibly leaving them more vulnerable.

Filed in 2016, the technology patent assesses interactions by the customer through their phone with the Uber app, such as how the passenger is holding their phone and if they are swaying, how fast they are walking user’s walking speed, and whether they are any typos in their communications.

This, it suggests, could “predict user state using machine learning” and recognise “uncharacteristic user states”. The patent states that the tech would help Uber “take an action to reduce undesired consequences” related to intoxicated passengers.

However critics of the impending technology have said it opens passengers to potential discrimination by drivers, who gain much of their trade from people out drinking and not driving themselves home.

It also raises questions about safety and sexual assault, for both drivers and passengers. A CNN investigation found that 103 Uber drivers in the US alone had been accused of “sexually assaulting or abusing” their passengers in the past four years.

Such technology would feasibly enable a driver to identify passengers that were at their most vulnerable, information that could be used in both a positive and negative manner.

An Uber spokesperson has noted that the AI is still a work in progress, with many patents never actually reaching reality.

One Response to “Uber files patent on AI tech to detect drunk passengers”

  1. jenny says:

    This is really good

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Please note that comments are subject to our posting guidelines in accordance with the Defamation Act 2013. Posts containing swear words, discrimination, offensive language and libellous or defamatory comments will not be approved.

We encourage debate in the comments section and always welcome feedback, but if you spot something you don't think is right, we ask that you leave an accurate email address so we can get back to you if we need to.

Subscribe to our newsletters

Global Chardonnay Masters 2019

Deadline : 25th November 2019

The Global Riesling Masters 2019

Deadline : 2nd December 2019

Click to view more

Rioja Masters 2019

View Results

The Global Sparkling Masters 2019

View Results

Click to view more