A new Amazon patent will allow Alexa to detect emotions like “joy, anger, sorrow, sadness, fear, disgust, boredom, stress, and other emotional states” and sickness in users.
“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,” Amazon’s patent says.
The patent entitled “Voice-based determination of physical and emotional characteristics of users,” was issued Tuesday after Amazon applied in March 2017. It describes a smart device analyzing a user’s speech patterns upon setting up the device and recognizing comparatively “abnormal” emotions or physical states.
It is designed to recognize and adapt to users’ accents and read through laughs or cries to accurately respond to commands. Being able to recognize commands delivered in an accent would allow Alexa to tailor suggestions to the user’s geographic origin or cultural attitudes. The patent gives an example of a Chinese-accented user asking for a news overview and being suggested a Chinese language news subscription for $50.
Enhancing speech recognition isn’t the limit of the vocal tonality recognition software that Amazon patented. “Abnormal emotional states” and illness can be monetized as well as a user’s cultural heritage.