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Last Updated Thursday January 24 2019 07:25 PM IST

Uber's new app set to spoil tipplers' joy

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Uber The Uber logo is seen on a screen in Singapore August 4, 2017. Reuters/Thomas White /File Photo

What if your Uber driver demands more money because you are drunk? Or if the company denies to permission to board a shared taxi?

Uber has reportedly filed for a patent on its new app that analyses the customer’s mental state! The app uses artificial intelligence to analyse a person’s normal behaviour and spot any deviation from usual patterns.

The app considers a user's typing speed, the frequency of errors, accuracy of clicking on links and buttons, the pace of his walking, the time of calling and the place of pickup to see if he is acting strange.

If a caller is seen as standing near a bar around midnight, the app could assume that he is drunk. Uber could decide to deny them services such as shared taxis or overcharge them for a ride. The taxi-hailing service could even amend its terms and conditions to incorporate the algorithm’s interference.

Uber could allocate experienced drivers to give a lift to the drunk customers. Or it could sensitise drivers in carrying intoxicated people. Uber drivers have complained of being mistreated by drunk passengers.

The app has been criticised for its invasion of privacy and its potential to target vulnerable customers. Unscrupulous Uber drivers could exploit the situation to fleece the passengers or even rob them.

As many as 103 Uber drivers have faced charges in the United States in the last four years for sexually harassing passengers. Most of the victims were drunk, Uber's critics said.

The app was prepared by former members of Uber’s Trust and Safety Team. The company has not divulged any details about the app.

Read more: Business news

The opinions expressed here do not reflect those of Malayala Manorama. Legal action under the IT Act will be taken against those making derogatory and obscene statements.

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