Tuesday, 19 June, 2018

Uber to Identify Drunk Passengers Using Artificial Intelligence

Getty Images Getty Images
Russell Knight | 13 June, 2018, 23:14

According to the patent, the algorithm would be able to look out for the user making typos, not precisely clicking on links and buttons, the way they are holding their phone, their walking speed and how long it takes to request a ride.

A rider's sobriety level will then result in the kind of ride they get.

The patent describes a system that is trained to identify passenger states so that it can determine when they're acting outside of their normal behavioral state.

'The system can alter the parameters of a service based on the prediction about the state of the user requesting the service'.

"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. The time of day and pickup location might also be a factor-someone trying to order a ride at 2:30 in the morning from somewhere packed with bars and nightclubs is unlikely to be sober.

However, experts fear it may allow drivers to undertake "drunk hunting".

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While the system could be used to prevent drunk and disorderly passengers from riding, CNN pointed out that it could be a draw for some drivers.

But, of course, notifying a driver beforehand could set a few liabilities in motion: Like, as The Verge hypothesizes, motivating a driver to decline picking up Sloshy McSlosherson, which, to the wasted, could be code for, "You're too drunk, drive home instead".

Furthermore, passengers might not be given the option to be included in a shared ride, based on their state, and as for Uber drivers, drunk passengers is notably a drawback of the job.

Just how Uber takes steps to avoid this scenario is anyone's guess.

It is not clear if the firm is working on this technology and MailOnline has contacted the company for comment.

As per a patent filed by Uber this month and unearthed by The Telegraph, the company plans a very Orwellian approach to the matter.

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