Creepy New Uber Algorithm Knows When You’re Drunk

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The premise of the software is to use a learned algorithm to determine a user's state of inebriation. To analyze the speed and accuracy of typing the address, the angle of the device, the location and velocity of the potential passenger.

The patent application, which was first uncovered by CNN, refers to a computer model that can predict user states based on data from their current in-app requests, as well as their previous behaviours.

One possible use is that if the app detects that the user could be intoxicated, it might prevent them from partaking in shared rides out of consideration to other passengers.

"For example, when the likelihood is comparatively very high, the user may not be matched with any provider, or limited to providers with experience or training with users having an unusual state", the patent states.

Uber wants to be able to tell you when you've had too many drinks.

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It's unclear if drivers will be given this information assuming the patent is granted, but it stands to reason they will, in order to better serve the riders and understand who their passengers are.

"It could lead to the possibility of some drivers avoiding drunk passengers and in the worst cases 'drunk hunting". "Therefore, it is desirable to minimize impact of such safety incidents in travel coordination systems", Uber states in the application.

"From February 2016 to February 2017, there were 48 alleged sex attacks by Uber drivers reported to the police in London", says The New Statesman.

Theoretically, knowing whether a passenger is intoxicated or exhausted would not result in the fare being denied, but would rather lead to the passenger being paired with a more experienced driver, Uber says.

In the United States, there were 103 instances of Uber drivers sexually assaulting or abusing riders between 2014 and 2018.

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