Uber has applied for a patent for a new technology they are developing to identify drunk users on their app. The new technology will collect data by examining users’ walking speed, the typos they make while ordering for a cab and whether the phone is swaying. These are some of the methods that will be used.
The company made the patent application that would enable them to identify uncharacteristic behavior including inebriation. By using small changes, Uber hopes to be successful in identifying drunken users. This would assist the company to secure the users by directing them to well-lit areas or match them with drivers who have experience dealing with drunk passengers.
However, Uber drivers, approximately 103 have been accused of sexually assaulting or abusing passengers. In most cases the passengers were drunk. The patent by Uber does not specify how they will be able to identify drunk users. The patent refers to ‘predicting user state by using machine learning’. Clearly indicating that AI has a big role to play in their current new tech. The app could also prevent these drunk users from carpooling with others.
Users have raised their concerns about this new possible tech being used, citing that it could be unsafe for drunk users after the past sexual attack incidents on drunk passengers. It beats the point of Uber people hail Ubers especially when inebriated to ensure their safety home. Uber has also gotten in trouble for their God’s View technology that was abused by employees who monitored exes, celebrities, and politicians. Their director testified to the same in court in late October 2016.
They have also come under fire for using their data to demonstrate the states where people had the most incidences of one-night stands. The algorithm they use to charge customers has also been referred to as a ‘black box’, as it is not transparent as to how they charge their customers. Including when there is a surge in the cab fare. Making Uber a questionable party and hesitant for customers to trust.