News Highlights: Spotify patents technology that tracks your speech and derives emotions from it
Targeted ads are often incredibly perfect, leading some people to believe that social networks and advertisers are using their phones’ microphones to spy on them. While that’s just a myth, Spotify seems to be exploring the possibilities offered by listening to its subscribers. The company has filed for a patent explaining how it can use microphones to determine people’s “ emotional state, gender, age or accent, ” said Music stores worldwide.
The patent was filed as early as February 2018 and granted on January 12. Music Business Worldwide has succeeded get a copy of the full patent (pdf), but the gist of it is that Spotify wants to use speech recognition to improve its recommendation algorithms. The patent describes that Spotify would analyze voice input for emotions, such as happy, angry, scared, sad, or neutral, allowing the platform to start playing whatever you need to listen to at the time. The company also plans to add environmental sounds such as “vehicles on the street, other people talking, birds chirping, printers printing, and so on,” to the mix, allowing for context-based recommendations.
As with any patent filing, we have to remind ourselves that these are often just experiments and ideas floating around a company, so Spotify may not even intend to introduce such a thing, or at least not in the near future. .
While creepy on the surface, this feels like the natural next step after regular speech recognition and can even make communicating with machines easier or more natural. I also wouldn’t be surprised if this was something other companies are also working towards, especially companies that sell smart home speakers, such as Google, Amazon and Apple. That said, I still get some creepy sci-fi vibes à la Her of this patent.
If you are interested in a deep dive into the patent’s technological background, visit the resource link below.
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