Patent suggests AI learning could be used to identify drunk Uber passengers

The ride-sharing company has applied for a patent for an AI system that could determine if users are showing ‘uncharacteristic behaviour

The ride-sharing company has applied for a patent for an AI system that could determine if users are showing ‘uncharacteristic behaviour

"The system uses a computer model to identify user and trip characteristics indicative of the uncharacteristic user states", says the patent application.

Uber will also potentially modify "pickup or drop-off locations to areas that are well lit and easy to access" when it has determined the user's state is "unusual".

CNN uncovered the patent, called "Predicting user state using machine learning".

The patent also suggests that the service Uber provides to the user could change, as a result.

By looking at the angle a phone is held at or how a person is walking the system could work out when an Uber user has had a few too many sherries. If implemented as planned, users may soon be too drunk to drive and too drunk to Uber.

Users that are drunk may also be presented with an alternative, easy-to-use version of the app. Should Uber figure out a way to alert drivers when a passenger might be drunk?

It is not known if the info will be used to deter drivers from picking up such passengers in order to sidestep potential trouble.

Uber new scheme

"It could lead to the possibility of some drivers avoiding drunk passengers and in the worst cases 'drunk hunting".

For example; if a user is ordering an Uber in the centre of a clubbing district at 3am, and takes 10 minutes to order the ride due to typos, then the app may determine that said user is intoxicated, based on previously collected data.

Uber has filed a patent for a new artificial intelligence system that can detect when passengers are drunk.

It is unclear how riders will access Uber's VR system - whether or not they will have to don a used headset is unknown.

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

The measure seems counterintuitive as many inebriated people use the taxi-app firm's services to safely get back home after a wild night out.


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