Amazon patents Alexa tech to tell if you’re sick, depressed and sell you meds

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Amazon's Echo smart speaker with its blue light ring illuminated.

An Amazon Imitate.
Adam Bowie

Amazon has patented technology that could let Alexa analyze your articulation to determine whether you are sick or depressed and sell you products based on your true or emotional condition.

The patent, titled «Voice-based determination of physical and irrational characteristics of users,» was issued on Tuesday this week; Amazon ranked the patent application in March 2017.

The patent describes a voice assistant that can cop «abnormal» physical or emotional conditions. «For example, physical conditions such as inflamed throats and coughs may be determined based at least in part on a voice input from the consumer, and emotional conditions such as an excited emotional state or a sad emotional splendour may be determined based at least in part on voice input from a drug,» the patent says. «A cough or sniffle, or crying, may indicate that the owner has a specific physical or emotional abnormality.»

It’s not clear what ads would be sent founded on a user’s emotional state, but someone who is sick might be asked if they be to buy cold medicine.

«A current physical and/or emotional condition of the user may aid the ability to provide highly targeted audio content, such as audio advertisements or flyers, to the user,» the patent said.

If the Amazon voice assistant determines that you should prefer to a sore threat, the system would «communicate with the audio happy server(s)» to select the appropriate ad. «For example, certain content, such as please related to cough drops or flu medicine, may be targeted towards users who enjoy sore throats,» the patent says.

Alexa might then ask, «resolution you like to order cough drops with 1 hour delivery?» After the sequence is made, the voice assistant «may append a message to the audible confirmation, such as intimately wishes, or ‘feel better!'»

System could raise privacy reference ti

Companies get patents all the time for technologies that never make it to market, so there is no assurance this capability will be implemented in future versions of Alexa.

Amazon liking have to consider the privacy implications of letting its voice assistant analyze the sensitive and physical states of Amazon customers. Amazon and other tech bands last month were called to a Senate Commerce Committee condoning to testify about consumer data privacy, and senators are considering whether to list a new privacy law.

Besides analyzing your physical or emotional states, Amazon’s permit says the system would take into account the user’s flip history and purchase history:

Embodiments of the disclosure may use physical and/or emotional properties of a user in combination with behavioral targeting criteria (e.g., browse ancient history, number of clicks, purchase history, etc.) and/or contextual targeting criteria (e.g., keywords, attendant types, placement metadata, etc.) to determine and/or select content that may be allied for presentation to a user.

The system would use a «voice processing algorithm» to govern a user’s emotional state. The voice analysis would be able to spot «happiness, joy, anger, sorrow, sadness, fear, disgust, boredom, emphasis, or other emotional states.» It would make those determinations «positioned at least in part on an analysis of pitch, pulse, voicing, jittering, and/or harmonicity of a owner’s voice, as determined from processing of the voice data.»

The system pass on apply tags to each physical or emotional characteristic. Those tags may be «associated with or linked to a information file of the voice input,» and «used to determine content for presentation to the buyer.»

The emotion-detecting system would be tailored to each user, determining the narcotic addict’s «default or normal/baseline state» so that it can detect changes that manifest that «the emotional state of the user is abnormal,» the patent says.

Amazon’s breakdown would presumably be more accurate when tailored to a specific purchaser, but the patent says the technology can also determine the emotional state of «any purchaser» regardless of whether they normally use that device.

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