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Uber is developing artificial intelligence that will tell if a passenger is drunk

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Gary Ogden
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Uber is developing artificial intelligence that will tell if a passenger is drunk

It’ll be used to spot “uncharacteristic user activity”

You have been drunk in an Uber before, this is a fact. Most of the Ubers you have got, you have been drunk in them - it’s just the way it works. Unfortunately, that’s not necessarily a great thing for the driver - shouting “HAVE YOU GOT AN AUX CABLE” on repeat for twenty minutes has the capacity to royally wind someone up, didn’t you know?

So Uber is trialing an AI system that will detect if a passenger is too drunk to travel. The tech, which is currently patent-pending, would be used to spot “uncharacteristic user activity,” which includes passenger location, number of typos entered into the mobile app, walking speed and even the angle the smartphone is being held, or if it’s “swaying”. We’ve all been there.

What the system would then do is tailor its service to suit whichever Jager-filled legend is using it (you). So it may direct you to a better-lit pick-up point, or match you with a driver who’s had special training to deal with piss-heads - it might even stop you from getting an Uber Pool. Which is fair enough - no reason why you should inflict your dribbling ramblings on even more people.

However, there are concerns that if the app tells a driver that you’re blotto out your skull, it may encourage certain undesirable employees to take advantage - it’s a murky, worrying area.

Still, don’t start panicking - there’s no need to hang up your prized drinking boots just yet - Uber has said that there aren’t any immediate plans to get the technology on the road. The application was first filed in 2016, so it’s a long process.

A spokesperson said:

“We are always exploring ways that our technology can help improve the Uber experience for riders and drivers.

“We file patent applications on many ideas, but not all of them actually become products or features.”

And besides, I think your distinct lack of sobriety will be quite obvious to your human Uber driver this Saturday when you get in and sit with your arse on the backrest and your back on the seat, Mr. Upside Down.

(Image: Getty)

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Gary Ogden

Shortlist writer and "the least woke person in the office", Gary Ogden, likes horror movies, Cheestrings, tapping his leg under the desk, "having a drink", hiding from responsibility, screaming into the mirror whenever he is alone, and assorted other things. Mainly the screaming thing though. @garyblogden

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