A recently-published patent application from Uber has revealed that the ride-sharing company is planning on using artificial intelligence to identify a passenger’s behavioral state, including being drunk, before being picked up. With this technology, Uber is hoping to better tailor its ride-sharing options for its ever-growing user base.
The patent, titled “Predicting user state using machine learning” describes a system that uses machine learning to study the usual behavior of Uber users. These behaviors include several factors, including location, the precision of users’ clicks on the app’s buttons, spelling accuracy when communicating with drivers, average walking speed, and how long it takes passengers to request for a ride. The usual time when users hail an Uber will also be included in the system.
According to Uber’s patent application:...MORE
“The user state model is trained to predict user state using past features in conjunction with previously-identified unusual user states. That is, the user state prediction module detects whether the user has input data in a way that is unusual for that particular user and/or in a way differing from normal user behavior that is similar to the differences for other users having unusual behavior.”Thus, if an intoxicated user hails a ride while walking and typing clumsily, the ride-hailing company’s AI system would be able to make an assumption that the user is less than sober. Once the system detects that a user is likely drunk, it would “alter the parameters” of its service in order to match the passenger with drivers who have relevant experience and training. Based on the passenger’s state, Uber might also restrict a drunk user’s access to its shared ride services....
And then there's the additional profit opportunity from carting drunks around: