News Highlights: Spotify patents technology to recommend songs based on the speech, emotion of users
The music streaming company Spotify has been patented for technology that aims to interpret the speech and background noise of users in order to better manage the music it serves.
Why It’s Important: In addition to being a little weird and invasive, the technology is an example of a future trend in computers: emotion recognition.
What is going on: Music stores worldwide reported this week that Spotify had filed in February 2018 and was granted this month a patent dat “uses speech recognition to determine “emotional state, gender, age, or accent” – characteristics that can then be used to recommend content. “
How it works: According to the patent application, the company is developing technology that can extract “intonation, tension, rhythm and similar units of speech” that can “detect and categorize a speaker’s emotional state”.
- In conjunction with other data from a user’s listening history and previous requests, appropriate music can be recommended or played.
What They Say: Not surprisingly, the internet took pleasure in this.
The catch: Technology companies often file patents for innovations that are never used in their products, and a company spokesperson said Pitchfork, “We don’t have any news to share at this time.”
What’s the next step: whether this capability ever comes in Spotify or not, companies are increasingly exploring technology who claims to recognize emotional states through voice.
- Amazon’s new Halo fitness tracker analysis the voice of users to evaluate how they appear to other people.
- But there are concerns that emotion recognition could be abused – a report released this week from a UK human rights organization identified dozens of companies in China using the technology, including some that work with the police.
The bottom line: I’m a Spotify user, but the company shouldn’t have to read my tone to serve up emotionally appropriate music.
- Happy? The national. Sad? The national. A little slime? The national.
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