Amazon patents Alexa tech to tell if you’re sick, depressed and sell you meds
Amazon has patented technology that could let Alexa analyze your voice to determine whether you are sick or depressed and sell you products based on your physical or emotional condition.
The patent, titled “Voice-based determination of physical and emotional characteristics of users,” was issued on Tuesday this week; Amazon filed the patent application in March 2017.
The patent describes a voice assistant that can detect “abnormal” physical or emotional conditions. “For example, physical conditions such as sore throats and coughs may be determined based at least in part on a voice input from the user, and emotional conditions such as an excited emotional state or a sad emotional state may be determined based at least in part on voice input from a user,” the patent says. “A cough or sniffle, or crying, may indicate that the user has a specific physical or emotional abnormality.”
It’s not clear what ads would be sent based on a user’s emotional state, but someone who is sick might be asked if they want to buy cold medicine.
“A current physical and/or emotional condition of the user may facilitate the ability to provide highly targeted audio content, such as audio advertisements or promotions, to the user,” the patent said.