Remember brandishing tin-foil hats after consuming a healthy dosage of conspiracies regarding spying and unwarranted espionage? Well, me neither, but we do have a case to talk about. Over two years back, Spotify filed for some interesting patents to insure a newly developed algorithm. It didn’t particularly raised eyebrows back then until it was approved last month.
Quite recently, we discussed how the Swedish streaming goliath plans on introducing their own promotion tactics funded via an artist’s royalty. Now it seems they want to curate music even more accurately for their subscribers using the latest of AI and machine learning they can employ. The document of the patent unveils how the said technique will collect metadata about its user, ranging from emotional state and physical environment to gender, age and accents. In short, a lot of information which could help the software understanding preferences, hence refine suggestions.
Technical lingo aside, this is yet another demonstration on how applications have become comfortable in scavenging data which an average person might not even care much about. In this day and age, social media platforms have done this, legally or otherwise, and gone to greater lengths for ad-targeting. The ethical aspect is questionable, as walls guarding one’s privacy are becoming paper-thin with strategies like this. Whether it improves the experience or not remains to be seen, as a Spotify spokesperson said a handful of their patents become part of their future products, not confirming if this technology will be implemented in the first place.